WHO IS a chance to play in round five?
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 round three ins. Check it out.
THE FULL INJURY LIST Who is racing the clock?
It would be hard to see Matt Crouch spending too much more time out of Adelaide's senior side after last week being dropped by the Crows. He went back and performed well in the scratch match along with Paul Seedsman, with both set to be in consideration against Fremantle this Sunday. Experienced options Kyle Hartigan and David Mackay also performed well on Sunday to push for a return to the senior side. Will Hamill is in doubt with his concussion, while Rory Sloane was also banged up again against the Lions, but played on despite his ankle knock.
Verdict: Crouch in for Hamill, while Hartigan could come back if the Crows want to give youngster Fischer McAsey a breather after a tough first month. – Callum Twomey
Captain Dayne Zorko will miss at least the next fortnight after scans confirmed he had sustained a calf strain against Adelaide. It leaves Tom Berry as the frontrunner for his spot, given he was dropped for the skipper's return last week. Keidean Coleman, Rhys Mathieson or Allen Christensen could play a small forward role, however the Lions could opt for Noah Answerth, Alex Witherden or Mitch Hinge if they reshuffle. Provided Stefan Martin (hamstring) gets through main training, he'll be fit to take Archie Smith's place. Oscar McInerney was quiet but should keep his spot.
Verdict: Martin and Tom Berry in for Smith and Zorko. - Mitch Cleary
Zippy midfielder Zac Fisher will earn a recall, having kicked two goals in a scratch match on Saturday in his return from a syndesmosis injury. He will replace Jack Silvagni to face St Kilda on Thursday night, with the five-day break ending Silvagni’s unlikely hopes of recovering in time from a fractured rib. Harry McKay should be available after missing last week due to soreness, with Sam Philp a chance to return to the reserves after a quiet debut against Essendon. The club will assess the fitness of its players on Wednesday due to the shortened spell between matches, with Matt Kennedy and Lochie O'Brien on standby after a series of impressive performances in the scratch matches.
Verdict: Fisher and McKay to return, with Silvagni and Philp to make way. - Riley Beveridge
There are a number of interesting selection conundrums facing Collingwood, with Steele Sidebottom and Lynden Dunn adding to Nathan Buckley's headaches on Tuesday night when it was revealed they were at the centre of a COVID-19 rule breach. Star midfielder Adam Treloar will return from a calf injury after another impressive performance in a scratch match over the weekend. Tyler Brown had looked likely to make way for Treloar but, depending on the outcome of the AFL's investigation, he could instead replace a suspended Sidebottom. Jeremy Howe will face months on the sidelines due to a ruptured PCL, with Jack Madgen his likely replacement. Matt Scharenberg could also be in consideration for the spot.
Verdict: Two changes. Treloar and Madgen will return for Howe and either Sidebottom or Tyler Brown, depending on the AFL's investigation into the club's COVID-19 breaches. - Riley Beveridge
The Bombers will have at least one forced change, with Zach Merrett suspended for this week's clash with Collingwood. What will the Bombers do? Move Darcy Parish to the midfield and bring in Jayden Laverde as a half-forward? Recall Matt Guelfi to play on a wing? Conor McKenna is available to play after being released from his COVID-19 quarantine and should be considered to bring in some dash. Essendon has to make a call on its ruck department, too, with Andrew Phillips performing well in last week's scratch match.
Verdict: Guelfi should come in for Merrett and the Bombers can juggle around some other roles. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher should also be considered for a return in defence. – Callum Twomey
Ruckman Sean Darcy is a chance to return against Adelaide on Sunday to allow Rory Lobb to join twin towers Jesse Hogan and Matt Taberner in attack. Darcy and Connor Blakely were the standouts in the combined Freo and Port Adelaide reserves team that took on Gold Coast last Saturday. Sam Sturt has made a rapid recovery from his ankle injury and is listed as a test, while he will also be involved in match committee discussions with recruit Blake Acres, who could finally make his club debut after overcoming his calf concern. The Dockers will be missing superstar skipper Nat Fyfe (hamstring) for 1-2 weeks, while Brandon Matera, Travis Colyer and Nathan Wilson were all quiet against the Suns.
Verdict: Darcy, Blakely and Acres in for Fyfe, Matera and Colyer. Sturt to be given another week before returning. - Chris Correia
Tom Stewart will be hard to replace after he had surgery to repair a fractured collarbone. Despite the club pushing Lachie Henderson's form, Harry Taylor looks the most likely to return after he was managed last week. It's also hard to see the Cats have him sit out milestones for Joel Selwood (300th) and Gary Ablett (350th). Jordan Clark has hit form at scratch match level and is a chance. Tom Atkins is in doubt with bruised ribs, with Quinton Narkle and Lachie Fogarty next in line and rookie Brad Close a smoky.
Verdict: Taylor and Narkle in for Stewart and Atkins. - Mitch Cleary
Another solid win for the Suns means it is unlikely they make significant changes for their trip to Geelong this week. Brayden Fiorini and Josh Corbett continue to put their hands up for selection, as does Sean Lemmens, while Izak Rankine and Sam Flanders are also pushing for AFL debuts. Tall forward/ruck Peter Wright is also performing well in the Suns' scratch matches to give himself a chance of a recall. But with a fit and healthy list and no weak spots over the past three weeks, it's hard to see many unforced changes.
Verdict: No change for the flying Suns. – Callum Twomey
The Giants will need to make at least one change, with Zac Williams ruled out for at least a month with a hamstring tear. His likely replacement, Isaac Cumming, also suffered a long-term hamstring injury in the Giants' scratch match. Phil Davis will also need to clear a hamstring complaint to face Hawthorn on Sunday. Jye Caldwell and Daniel Lloyd could be a chance for immediate recalls after being dropped last week.
Verdict: Lachie Ash can take on Williams' role across half-back allowing for the Giants to bring back Caldwell. Adam Kennedy is also ready to return and could come in for Davis if the Giants want to reshape their defence. – Callum Twomey
Luke Breust's fractured jaw and the knowledge that fellow forward Jon Patton will be available this week make for an intriguing selection dilemma. Mitch Lewis was a late inclusion for Patton last week, so they may swap positions again. We'll find out where Paul Puopolo fits in the club's plans since he was an emergency for Sunday's game after being a late withdrawal with calf tightness the previous week. Puopolo is the safest bet as Breust's replacement but Conor Nash should be in strong contention, too. Others who could be considered include Darren Minchington, Dylan Moore, Jackson Ross and Josh Morris. Midfielder Harry Jones keeps knocking on the door and will bust it in at some stage. Ollie Hanrahan could be vulnerable after an underwhelming past fortnight but Breust's injury might spare him the axe.
Verdict: Puopolo, Patton and Jones for Breust, Lewis and Hanrahan. - Marc McGowan
Oscar McDonald and Harley Bennell are primed for senior recalls after respective strong showings in a scratch match against Geelong on Sunday. McDonald is heaping the pressure on fellow defender Joel Smith, while Bennell – who kicked four goals after being dropped – will challenge a series of Demons. Mitch Hannan and Aaron vandenBerg did some OK things in their first senior game in some time, so they'll likely get another chance, but Jay Lockhart and Jayden Hunt may be nervous. Nathan Jones was also a strong performer in the reserves game but probably needs to bide his time. Mitch Brown and Sam Weideman are the best options if Simon Goodwin wants to go taller in attack.
Verdict: McDonald and Bennell for Smith and Lockhart. - Marc McGowan
Ben Cunnington was a late withdrawal for the second straight week as he battles a back impingement but he will again aim to prove his fitness. It might be him in and skipper Jack Ziebell out. Ziebell rolled an ankle in the first term against Hawthorn, then ended the match on the bench icing his left hamstring. Outside of them, dumped veteran Jamie Macmillan will remain a contender but Marley Williams has taken his spot. Majak Daw might have to wait for his opportunity, with Josh Walker a strong performer at the weekend and Robbie Tarrant holding the backline together. The other usual suspects – youngsters Tom Murphy, Aiden Bonar and Bailey Scott – will get another shot at some stage.
Verdict: Cunnington in for Ziebell. - Marc McGowan
Everything is purring for Port Adelaide at the moment. The club will put Ryan Burton through his paces in a fitness test later this week as he hopes to return from a sprained knee, but expect the young defender to face another week on the sidelines. Xavier Duursma is also at least another fortnight away, meaning Port could head into Saturday's fixture against Brisbane with an unchanged lineup. Kane Farrell came into the team for Duursma last week and was solid against West Coast, so expect to see him keep his spot.
Verdict: Why mess with a winning formula? Expect an unchanged team, should Burton fail to get up. - Riley Beveridge
Ryan Garthwaite seems the logical replacement for David Astbury, who will miss at least a month after undergoing knee surgery this week. But Noah Balta might get the nod given his versatility and ability to provide a chop out in the ruck. Jack Graham, Marlion Pickett and Daniel Rioli were standout performers in the scratch match after they were all dropped last week, while Pat Naish was also prominent. Sydney Stack struggled again, while Kamdyn McIntosh was also quiet in his first game of the season.
Verdict: Balta and Naish in for Astbury and Stack. - Ben Sutton
A host of players will be lining up for Zak Jones' vacant wing role, with the recruit expected to miss with a hamstring. Jack Sinclair and Nick Hind look to be next in line, however the hard-running Ed Phillips joined Dan McKenzie last week as a carryover emergency. Jade Gresham (eye) is expected to be fit, while recent inclusions Dean Kent, Josh Battle and Jonathon Marsh did little wrong against the Tigers. Finding an omission for Paddy Ryder who was rested last week will be tough. Captain Jarryn Geary will put his hand up for selection.
Verdict: Sinclair in for Jones, unless Geary is fit. If the Saints deem a second ruck is needed, Ryder in for Kent. - Mitch Cleary
The Swans have lost No.1 ruckman Sam Naismith (knee) for the season and Tom McCartin (concussion) is his likely replacement if he is fit to return. If not, they had enough height in last week's line-up, so they may opt to bring in a smaller type. Callum Sinclair is now the main big man again. Ryan Clarke hasn't cracked it for a game yet, while we are also yet to see highly touted draftees Dylan Stephens, Will Gould and Chad Warner. Any other changes could depend on whether Sydney elects to give Callum Mills an extended midfield run or return him to defence.
Verdict: McCartin replaces Naismith. - Marc McGowan
As long as his ankle is good to go, Jeremy McGovern will be rushed straight back in for the suspended Will Schofield. Back-up ruckman Tom Hickey offered little from his 41 per cent game time last week and will be under the microscope for Oscar Allen, Nathan Vardy or Bailey Williams. Forward-mid Brendon Ah Chee was quiet, while Jamaine Jones is no lock after his first game. Jack Petruccelle and Josh Rotham will be in the frame after being dropped, while Jake Waterman and Jackson Nelson will be close.
Verdict: McGovern, Allen and Petruccelle in for Schofield, Hickey and Ah Chee. - Mitch Cleary