WHO IS a chance to play in round seven?
In this week's In the Mix 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 R7 ins and outs. Check it out.
Defenders Josh Worrell and Fischer McAsey are both in form at SANFL level and pushing for AFL call-ups after the Crows were left with form and injury issues out of round six. Will Hamill rolled his ankle, while Andrew McPherson sustained "significant impact" to his ribs and has form issues to work through also. Worrell would be making his debut if called on, while McAsey is yet to play this season. Billy Frampton responded to his omission with seven goals and 12 marks (nine contested) in the SANFL. Midfielder Sam Berry was rested in round six and presumably returns, with small forward James Rowe potentially making way after a goalless match.
R6 medical sub: Tom Lynch (replaced Will Hamill)
Verdict: Worrell, McAsey and Berry for Hamill, McPherson and Rowe. – Nathan Schmook
A couple of forced changes are needed for the Lions ahead of its huge clash with Port Adelaide at the Gabba on Saturday night with Lachie Neale (ankle) and Darcy Gardiner (concussion) both unavailable. Rhys Mathieson was a standout in a heavy VFL loss on Saturday, kicking four goals, while Tom Fullarton also excelled with 34 disposals. Noah Answerth has returned from a VFL suspension and is a tempting option, although has not played much footy this year. Callum Ah Chee was pushed into defence following Gardiner's head knock against Carlton, and with that likely to happen against Port, another mid/forward into Brisbane's rotation seems the most likely option.
R6 medical sub: Tom Berry (replaced Darcy Gardiner)
Verdict: Mathieson and Tom Berry for Neale and Gardiner - Michael Whiting
The Blues have some decisions to make after another disappointing showing in round six. Will Setterfield put himself in senior contention with 25 disposals and 10 tackles in a VFL victory over Brisbane, flourishing in an inside role. Paddy Dow (20 disposals, six tackles) and Lochie O'Brien (20 disposals, 11 marks) were also solid, but might need to be given an extended run in the reserves to find some form. Setterfield's impending return could mean trouble for either Matt Cottrell or Jack Newnes, who were both quiet on a wing against the Lions. The club is hopeful Tom De Koning (back) and Nic Newman (knee) will return from injury this week, but both will likely need to do so through the VFL.
R6 medical sub: Matt Kennedy (unused)
Verdict: One change for a pivotal clash against the Bombers, with Setterfield replacing Cottrell. – Riley Beveridge
Jordan De Goey (concussion), Mark Keane (suspension) and Chris Mayne (corkie) will be available for selection after missing Anzac Day. Caleb Poulter is coming with a rush and could be the Pies' fifth debutant this season after a standout performance in the VFL. Medical sub Tyler Brown and fellow emergencies Mason Cox and Brayden Sier will also be in the frame, but Levi Greenwood (concussion) will miss at least another week. Trey Ruscoe and Nathan Murphy lacked impact on their returns, Jack Madgen was exposed at times while youngsters Jay Rantall and Finlay Macrae were quiet. Will Kelly and Keane might be fighting for one spot especially if Darcy Moore slots in full-time in defence.
R6 medical sub: Tyler Brown (unused)
Verdict: De Goey, Poulter and Mayne for Ruscoe, Murphy and Rantall with Moore to start back. - Mitch Cleary
After last week's excellent win against Collingwood it is hard to see the Bombers changing things up for Sunday's clash with Carlton. Jordan Ridley is expected to come back after missing with concussion and he could replace Aaron Francis, who is in doubt with an ankle injury, or Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, who was Ridley's replacement last week. David Zaharakis was the round six medical sub and came on late in the game and will be hoping to break into the 22, while Ned Cahill and Tom Cutler were among the strong performers at VFL level.
R5 medical sub: David Zaharakis (used)
Verdict: Ridley for Zerk-Thatcher. - Callum Twomey
If Brennan Cox is unable to recover from an ankle injury in time, the Dockers will have little option but to field an undersized defence against West Coast. With three key defenders sidelined, they will need to turn to either 193cm Taylin Duman, who has been building his case in the WAFL this season, or 190cm Tobe Watson, who has played two games in 2021. Both are medium defenders who would likely be asked to play tall on the third Eagles forward. Sam Sturt is the most likely forward to replace Josh Treacy after the young key forward was quiet again, but no WAFL action due to COVID-19 precautions in Perth prevented Sturt from pushing his case. Likewise midfielder Darcy Tucker was unable to get the match practice he needs after recovering from a hamstring injury.
R5 medical sub: Connor Blakely (replaced Brennan Cox)
Verdict: Duman and Sturt replace Cox and Treacy. – Nathan Schmook
Mark O'Connor is set to miss with a hamstring injury, while Jake Kolodjashnij's knee remains a watch. Brad Close had just nine disposals against the Eagles but should hold his spot, while the rest of the team looks settled. Charlie Constable racked up disposals at will in a practice match against the AFL Academy on Saturday, while Sam Simpson was the standout on his return from a quad injury and Zach Guthrie was the carryover emergency. Medical sub Jordan Clark remains around the mark and should play a full game at either level given he's now been the 23rd man for a fortnight. Esava Ratugolea, however, remains a further way off after missing the practice match with groin soreness, while Quinton Narkle injured an ankle.
R6 medical sub: Jordan Clark (replaced Kolodjashnij)
Verdict: Constable and Simpson for O'Connor and Kolodjashnij leaving Zach Tuohy and Jack Henry to roll back. - Mitch Cleary
After a strong win against Sydney, there's little reason to change the Suns' line-up for Saturday's clash with Collingwood at the MCG. Ruckman Zac Smith played 70 minutes of game-time in his return from a knee injury in the VFL, but still needs more work before being considered for selection. Brayden Fiorini and Darcy Macpherson were strong at the lower level, while untried Mal Rosas is knocking on the door of a debut.
R6 medical sub: Alex Sexton (unused)
Verdict: unchanged - Michael Whiting
Prized recruit Jesse Hogan looks set to make his Giants debut, after recovering from a pre-season quad injury then having three runs at VFL level. Hogan moved really well in his most recent hit-out, and kicked four goals to go with 11 marks. Jake Riccardi is the most likely to make way, going goalless against Western Bulldogs and only booting two goals in three matches. Nick Haynes (hamstring) will miss the trip to Adelaide, while Xavier O'Halloran (shoulder) is in doubt. Conor Stone was quiet against the Bulldogs and could be due a rest, while fellow 2020 draftee Tanner Bruhn had little impact in three quarters after starting as medical sub. Midfielder Nick Shipley had another strong game in the reserves, with 19 disposals and eight tackles, while Matt Buntine’s versatility could be useful. Lachie Whitfield is close to a return, but will make his way back through the VFL.
R6 medical sub: Tanner Bruhn (replaced Nick Haynes)
Verdict: Hogan, Shipley and Buntine to come in, as Bruhn moves into the starting 22. Haynes and O’Halloran miss with injury, Riccardi is omitted and Stone moves to medical sub to manage his game time. - Martin Pegan
Jack Gunston is all of a sudden back in the selection conversation after a long build-up following back surgery. Last week's medical sub Finn Maginness will be vying for a spot in the starting side, as will emergencies Connor Downie and Conor Nash, plus Daniel Howe who missed. Young key forward Emerson Jeka is also coming with a rush after five goals in the VFL to go with three the week prior. However, he faces logjam of key talls that saw Tim O'Brien play in defence for parts against the Crows. Shaun Burgoyne is a watch after being subbed out with an ankle injury, while Dylan Moore was quiet, and James Cousins remains on the fringe.
R6 medical sub: Finn Maginness (replaced Burgoyne)
Verdict: Unchanged unless Burgoyne fails to get up and is replaced by Maginness. Giving Gunston one more week. - Mitch Cleary
The big question for the Demons is whether Ben Brown returns to make his club debut against his former side in his home state. It would be a fairytale inclusion for the key forward, who kicked four goals from 12 disposals in a VFL victory over Richmond last weekend. Sam Weideman also pressed his claim for a senior return with 13 disposals and three goals, but, like last week, it will be hard for Simon Goodwin to change a winning formula. Jake Melksham was held goalless against the Tigers and could make way for one, while Charlie Spargo was also quiet but plays a pivotal role as a pressure forward. James Harmes is an outside chance to return from a wrist injury. Young defender Jake Bowey (26 disposals, five marks) was impressive in the VFL, but will likely need to bide his time.
R6 medical sub: Kade Chandler (unused)
Verdict: Brown to make his club debut against the Kangaroos, replacing Melksham in a taller forward line. Weideman to be made to wait another week. – Riley Beveridge
Aaron Hall should recover from concussion and Charlie Lazzaro, who was rested last week due to hamstring soreness, has been declared fit. Trent Dumont is set to return from a calf injury through the VFL, while Will Walker (23 disposals, one goal) could make the long-awaited jump to senior level after a solid outing against Frankston on the weekend. Young midfielder Will Phillips was quiet last week and might be sent back to the VFL in order to get a solid run of footy under his belt.
R6 medical sub: Dom Tyson (unused)
Verdict: Hall to replace Phillips with Lazzaro to work his way back through the VFL after an impressive string of senior appearances. – Riley Beveridge
The Power got through against St Kilda unscathed and are in form across the board, opening the door for their first unchanged team of the season. The only reason to make a move at selection is the availability of best 22 midfielder-forward Sam Powell-Pepper, who was terrific finding touch in the SANFL with 34 disposals, eight clearances and a goal. Whoever makes way would be hard done by, with Willem Drew and Boyd Woodcock the likely omissions.
R6 medical sub: Sam Mayes (unused)
Verdict: Powell-Pepper for Woodock. – Nathan Schmook
Injuries are mounting for the Tigers who will face the rare task of having to replace Dustin Martin (concussion) this week. Kane Lambert (calf) is also out while Dylan Grimes has to pass a test to play after his ankle tweak. Jack Ross, who was the substitute last week, should be in the 22 for the clash with the Bulldogs, while Will Martyn, Riley Collier-Dawkins and Patrick Naish will also come into the selection frame. Callum Coleman-Jones is pushing to get into the side and Hugo Ralphsmith may have been a chance but is in doubt with an ankle injury suffered in the VFL.
R5 medical sub: Jack Ross (used)
Verdict: Martin and Lambert out for Ross and Martyn. - Callum Twomey
Paddy Ryder will be a welcome inclusion to assist the Saints' bleeding from centre bounces, after a strong return in the VFL. Jimmy Webster should come into consideration after missing with a groin injury, while Ryan Byrnes has now impressed in two VFL games. Medical sub Jack Bytel and emergencies Mason Wood and Tom Highmore are close, while Luke Dunstan's 46-disposal outing can't be ignored. The Saints have accepted Dan McKenzie's one-match suspension, while there's a watch on Bradley Hill with Achilles soreness off the six-day break. Jake Carlisle could be looked at with Ryder's return, Darragh Joyce was last man in, while Ben Long, Dan Butler and Jack Lonie lacked impact.
R6 medical sub: Jack Bytel (replaced Hill)
Verdict: Ryder, Byrnes, Webster and Highmore for Carlisle, Hill, McKenzie and Joyce. - Mitch Cleary
The Swans' tall stocks are thinning, as Sam Reid (calf) joins Lance Franklin and Tom Hickey on the sidelines. Nick Blakey (corked thigh) could barely run for most of the Gold Coast clash, and is now in a race against time to be fit to face Geelong on Saturday night. George Hewett will miss as he goes through the standard concussion protocols. It was a close call to leave Tom McCartin (hamstring) out for the trip to Gold Coast, so the key defender should return this week to battle Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron. Logan McDonald only played a half in the VFL to manage his running loads, and had little impact with two kicks and one goal but could replace Reid. Dylan Stephens (32 disposals), Sam Gray (31) and Ryan Clarke (30) got plenty of the ball in the VFL, Will Gould played well in defence and Joel Amartey kicked three goals.
R6 medical sub: Braeden Campbell (replaced George Hewett)
Verdict: McCartin back into defence, McDonald returns after a week in the VFL, Campbell moves back into the starting 22. Stephens comes in as medical sub. Reid, Hewett and Blakey miss with injury. - Martin Pegan
The Eagles look set to be boosted by the return of key pair Josh Kennedy and Shannon Hurn after the veterans overcame ankle and calf injuries respectively. Kennedy's ankle has settled down and he has been able to run on it this week, raising hopes he will be able to provide a much-needed boost after the 97-point thrashing to Geelong. Hurn will come in for a club record 291st game. There was no WAFL action at the weekend due to COVID-19 precautions in Perth. Young ruckman Bailey Williams is available, however, if further changes are made, while versatile tall Harry Edwards is on the cusp of selection and can play as a key defender or support ruckman. That versatility could be important against forward threat Sean Darcy without McGovern. If Jack Petruccelle has recovered from a hamstring injury, there are multiple options to make way, including Zac Langdon and Jamaine Jones. If the speedster is not fit, don't write off a Derby debut for Zane Trew or promotion for medical substitute Brayden Ainsworth.
R5 medical sub: Brayden Ainsworth (replaced McGovern)
Verdict: Hurn, Kennedy, Edwards and Petruccelle for McGovern, Waterman, Vardy and Langdon.– Nathan Schmook
There are at least three changes to come this week at the Dogs, with Josh Dunkley (shoulder), Lin Jong (hamstring) and Tim English (concussion) all ruled out. An impressive performance from Patrick Lipinski in the VFL last week could see him replace Dunkley in the midfield, while Josh Schache will be in contention to come in for English as a key forward. Lachie McNeil, last week's substitute, may also hold his place in the starting 22, while Ben Cavarra, Roarke Smith and Rhylee West are also all a chance for senior selection, as is Mitch Wallis, the veteran forward who has been in solid VFL form.
R5 medical sub: Lachie McNeil (used)
Verdict: Dunkley, English and Jong out for Lipinski and Wallis, while McNeil holds his spot. - Callum Twomey