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In the mix: Who's pushing for selection in the semi-finals?

Nick Robertson, Rhys Stanley and Tom Cole are all in the selection frame this week. All pictures: AFL Photos - AFL,Brisbane Lions,GWS Giants,News,In the Mix,Geelong Cats,West Coast Eagles
Nick Robertson, Rhys Stanley and Tom Cole are all in the selection frame this week. All pictures: AFL Photos

WHO IS a chance to play in the semi-finals?

In this week's In the Mix, brought to you by the Toyota WorkHorse Range, we find the players who are giving their selectors plenty of food for thought.

Who's going out, who's sore, who is under the pump? Our reporters attempt to pick all the ins. Check it out.

Get them in: There's a long list of candidates who performed strongly in Sunday's NEAFL preliminary final win, led by Ryan Bastinac (41 disposals and two goals), Lewy Taylor (26 and two goals) and Rhys Mathieson (27 and one goal).

Under the pump: A few players were down on their best against Richmond – notably Eric Hipwood and Zac Bailey - but Chris Fagan has shown loyalty this season to the players who carried the team to second place.

Medical room: Tough winger Mitch Robinson has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury suffered against the Tigers. The club said he would be reassessed if it was able to defeat the Giants.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: No need to make sweeping changes but obviously someone has to come in for Robinson. Ryan Lester is reliable and Taylor has played the wing role with distinction, but Nick Robertson might be the best choice given his ability to help out in defence and his ruggedness around stoppages – two traits that Robinson has distinguished himself with on the wing. – Michael Whiting

Will the Lions call on Nick Robertson for just his fifth game this season? 

Get them in: James Parsons was the first player named by Chris Scott when he was asked for potential inclusions on Tuesday. The forward/midfielder was a carryover emergency and didn't take part in a scratch match that included Lachie HendersonScott Selwood and Charlie Constable on Friday. Henderson is in consideration for the Eagles' tall forwards, while there will be at least one spot up for grabs in the midfield if Cam Guthrie doesn't come back. Rhys Stanley is the most likely ruck inclusion if the Cats add a traditional No.1 big man against the Eagles.

Under the pump: Should Mark Blicavs return to the backline, Zach Tuohy would appear the most likely to fall out of the defensive system of seven players. However, there could be a spot for the Irishman to again play forward with concerns over Gary Rohan. Late inclusion Sam Menegola will remain nervous over his spot after 16 disposals in a midfield that was well beaten against the Pies.

Medical room: Guthrie returned to the main group in Tuesday's session and must get through Thursday's final hitout to prove he's over a calf setback. Mitch Duncan (knee) has been ruled out, while Rohan is a long shot after the left knee he re-injured against the Pies was heavily strapped as he was reduced to straight-line running on Tuesday. Brandan Parfitt remains a watch after not training fully on Tuesday, the midfielder having missed rounds 18-20 with a back complaint.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Stanley and Guthrie for Duncan and Rohan. Blicavs to return to defence, pushing Tuohy into Rohan's position in attack. Parsons next in line if Guthrie or Parfitt aren't fit. – Mitch Cleary

Ruckman Rhys Stanley looks all but certain to return to take on West Coast's big men.

Get them in: Experienced utility Adam Tomlinson was the unlucky man to miss out when the Giants selected veteran Brett Deledio to face the Western Bulldogs, and he's the player odds-on to replace Deledio against Brisbane. Lachie Keeffe and Isaac Cumming could also be looked at.

Under the pump: The Giants won't be making any unforced changes after one of the club's best wins over the Dogs last week.

Medical room: The career of Deledio (calf) looks over unless the Giants make the Grand Final and he can make a miracle recovery, while Stephen Coniglio (knee) has already been ruled out of the Lions clash, but could be ready for a preliminary final.

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: Tomlinson for Deledio. – Adam Curley

Adam Tomlinson helped chair Brett Deledio off the ground last week. Now he could replace him. 

Get them in: Unlucky tall forward Oscar Allen and premiership defender Tom Cole were held out of Sunday's season-ending WAFL loss to Claremont with only a five-day break before the semi-final clash with Geelong, and are set to be in the travelling party.

Under the pump: Jake Waterman impressed against Essendon and Tom Hickey did his job supporting Nic Naitanui, so Allen's heartbreak is likely to continue, but Cole could be a chance to replace Jackson Nelson. 

Medical room: Naitanui pulled up well from his first game in two months after an ankle issue, and Nelson trained on Monday following a head knock. 

Toyota WorkHorse Verdict: It's difficult to see much changing from the 55-point win over the Bombers, unless match committee decides to recall Cole for Nelson. - Travis King

Could the Eagles bring back premiership defender Tom Cole?

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs