ESSENDON has been forced into five changes for its crucial encounter with St Kilda on Sunday, losing two former best and fairest winners for the clash at the Gabba.

David Zaharakis will miss the remainder of the season with a quad injury, while Devon Smith has been managed alongside defensive duo Aaron Francis and Mason Redman, and veteran ruckman Tom Bellchambers.

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The Bombers will regain Michael Hurley and promising young big man Sam Draper, while Josh Begley, Jacob Townsend and Kobe Mutch also return for a match that is bound to have finals implications.

01:07 Mins
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Match Previews R12: St Kilda v Essendon

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Saints and Bombers at the Gabba

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The Saints have made four changes, regaining off-season recruits Zak Jones and Paddy Ryder. Experienced midfielder Seb Ross and forward Jack Lonie also come into the side.

Jade Gresham and Dean Kent are injured, while Jake Carlisle has been rested ahead of the game against his former side. Ed Phillips has been omitted.

Adelaide's horror season was compounded earlier this week by the news that stand-in skipper Tom Doedee would miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury. He is one of five changes for Sunday's clash with the Western Bulldogs.

Darcy Fogarty has been dropped, while Ned McHenry has been managed. Tom Lynch also has a hamstring problem, while Ben Crocker will miss through illness.

01:16 Mins
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Match Previews R12: Western Bulldogs v Adelaide

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Bulldogs and Crows at Metricon Stadium

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The Crows will regain full-time captain Rory Sloane from a hand injury, with Daniel Talia, Jake Kelly, Lachie Murphy and Myles Poholke also returning to the team.

The Dogs have made four changes of their own, with Lachie Hunter returning alongside Ben Cavarra, Rhylee West and Roarke Smith. They have elected to manage both Josh Bruce, who has kicked four goals in his past six matches, and Laitham Vandermeer, while Jason Johannisen and Zaine Cordy are injured.

In Sunday's final clash, both West Coast and Hawthorn have made three changes each.

01:11 Mins
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Match Previews R12: West Coast v Hawthorn

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Eagles and Hawks at Optus Stadium

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Jeremy McGovern returns for the Eagles alongside debutant Nic Reid and Brayden Ainsworth, with injured duo Liam Duggan and Jake Waterman making way. Jarrod Cameron has been dropped.

Changkuoth Jiath makes his first appearance of 2020 for the Hawks, with Shaun Burgoyne and Conor Glass among the three inclusions. Isaac Smith and Jon Ceglar are injured, while Tom Scully has been rested.

Sunday, August 16

Western Bulldogs v Adelaide, Metricon Stadium, 1.05pm AEST

In: L.Hunter, B.Cavarra, R.West, R.Smith
Out: Z.Cordy (chest), J.Johannisen (ankle), L.Vandermeer (managed), J.Bruce (managed)

In: D.Talia, J.Kelly, L.Murphy, M.Poholke, R.Sloane
Out: D.Fogarty (omitted), B.Crocker (illness), T.Doedee (hamstring), T.Lynch (hamstring), N.McHenry (managed)

St Kilda v Essendon, Gabba, 3.35pm AEST

In: Z.Jones, J.Lonie, P.Ryder, S.Ross
Out: E.Phillips (omitted), J.Gresham (back), D.Kent (injured), J.Carlisle (managed)

In: M.Hurley, J.Begley, S.Draper, J.Townsend, K.Mutch
Out: D.Zaharakis (quad), A.Francis (managed), D.Smith (managed), T.Bellchambers (managed), M.Redman (managed)

West Coast v Hawthorn, Optus Stadium, 4.10pm AWST

In: J.McGovern, B.Ainsworth, N.Reid
Out: L.Duggan (hamstring), J.Cameron (omitted), J.Waterman (hand)
New: Nic Reid

In: C.Jiath, C.Glass, S.Burgoyne
Out: I.Smith (shoulder), J.Ceglar (toe), T.Scully (managed)