WHO IS a chance to play in round 14?

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 R14 ins and outs. Check it out.

The Lions will need to make two forced changes coming out of their bye into Saturday's match against North Melbourne in Hobart, with captain Dayne Zorko (suspension) and defender Ryan Lester (hamstring) unavailable. Rhys Mathieson has performed strongly when given a chance in the midfield this year, while half-forward Tom Berry or untried Tom Joyce could be other options. James Madden has filled in well in defence if the Lions are happy to go a little smaller. Jarrod Berry and Jack Payne are both available after long injury layoffs, but might need a run or two in the VFL first.

R12 medical sub: Rhys Mathieson (replaced Lester)

Verdict: Mathieson and Madden for Zorko and Lester - Michael Whiting

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Fiery Mathieson lets Baker know all about it

Fireworks spark after Rhys Mathieson celebrates his goal right in the face of Liam Baker

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The Blues will regain Lachie Plowman from suspension for Saturday night's clash with the Giants, while the club is also hopeful Michael Gibbons will recover from a hamstring strain. Harry McKay and Nic Newman both suffered concussions in the side's last match, but a timely bye means both will be out of the AFL's 12-day protocols by this weekend. Jack Newnes was the medical substitute for the defeat to the Eagles a fortnight ago and could be a likely omission for Plowman, while if Gibbons is to return it could mean a decision has to be made between youngster Paddy Dow and veteran Marc Murphy.

R13 medical sub: Did Not Play

Verdict: Plowman to replace Newnes, with Gibbons to return through the VFL. - Riley Beveridge

Lachie Plowman bumps Jaeger O'Meara in round 10, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

The Bombers will have to replace Andrew McGrath, who could miss the rest of the season with his knee injury, while David Zaharakis also hurt his hamstring late in their last game against Richmond in round 12 before they had the bye last week. Sam Draper has played at practice match level to get his match conditioning up and should be available to return in the ruck, while Peter Wright (calf) and Devon Smith (hamstring) will also be a chance to play after soft-tissue injuries.

R12 medical sub: Patrick Ambrose (used)

Verdict: Draper, Smith and Ambrose in the 22 for McGrath, Zaharakis and Andrew Phillips. - Callum Twomey

David Zaharakis and the injured Devon Smith leave the ground after round nine, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

This week looms as Chris Scott's toughest at the selection table for the season. Already hard enough to break into a side that's gone five matches unbeaten, the Cats will need to find a spot for reigning best and fairest Cam Guthrie who is set to return from a shoulder injury. The ruck combination of Mark Blicavs and Esava Ratugolea has passed every test, but they could consider a recall for Rhys Stanley, releasing Blicavs to defence against the Dogs' trio of tall forwards. Last week's unused medical sub Quinton Narkle was incredibly unlucky to miss out but will only find it tougher this time around. Gryan Miers is also edging for a return from a fractured leg but may need to wait another week. The Cats have different options to include Guthrie which could mean dropping a defender and seeing tagger Mark O'Connor move back to defence, or they may choose to drop a midfielder or forward such as Shaun Higgins or Luke Dahlhaus to re-shuffle their midfield/attack. 

R13 medical sub: Quinton Narkle (unused)

Verdict: Guthrie in for Higgins. - Mitch Cleary 

Geelong's Cam Guthrie in action against Richmond in round eight, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Vice-captain Sam Collins is expected to be available for Saturday's home match against Port Adelaide after missing the last start loss against Fremantle with an ankle niggle. The Suns' VFL team had a last-gasp win at the weekend, with Brayden Fiorini (45 disposals), Darcy Macpherson and Ben Ainsworth all knocking the door down with strong showings. 

R13 medical sub: Josh Corbett (unused)

Verdict: Collins and Ainsworth for Graham and Rosas - Michael Whiting

Sam Collins outmarks Oscar Allen in round one, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Giants needed a barnstorming finish to salvage a draw against the bottom team and now have more competition for places, so could look to shake things up. Jake Riccardi had a huge day after being dropped to the VFL, kicking eight goals from 24 disposals and 14 marks. The key forward might earn an immediate recall to give GWS more marking options, especially if it’s decided the Shane Mumford/Matt Flynn ruck combination isn’t working well enough around the ground. Former skipper Phil Davis also played in the reserves and was solid as he gathered 18 disposals and 10 marks. Jake Stein looked comfortable in a defensive role against North Melbourne in his first game of the season but could be the one to make way.

R13 medical sub: Xavier O'Halloran (unused)

Verdict: Davis and Riccardi in for Stein and Flynn. - Martin Pegan

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VFL Showreel, R9: Riccardi runs wild with eight reasons for recall

Jake Riccardi has answered his recent AFL omission in stunning style, with a remarkable eight-goal haul

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Hawthorn will have to make at least one change to the side that recorded an upset win over Sydney, with James Worpel accepting a one-match suspension for a rough tackle. Ned Reeves was a late withdrawal with an ankle injury, but replacement Jonathan Ceglar was outstanding. Harry Morrison was subbed off with a hamstring injury with the extent of damage yet to be confirmed. Mitchell Lewis should be fit after missing a week with concussion.

R13 medical sub: Josh Morris (replaced Morrison)

Verdict: James Cousins and Lewis in for Worpel and Morrison – Sarah Black

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Swans defender hurt in Worpel tackle

Harry Cunningham is slow to get back on his feet after this tackle by James Worpel

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Kangaroos duo Kyron Hayden and Jared Polec are both closing on returns after they each suffered long-term hamstring setbacks. However, the club will continue to take a patient approach with both, meaning comebacks for Saturday's clash with the Lions could be unlikely. Exciting youngster Phoenix Spicer has also suffered a hamstring setback of his own and won't be available in the near-future. Taylor Garner looked to hurt his lower leg in the latter stages of last Sunday's draw with the Giants, with his availability not yet known. Don't expect too many changes after a promising showing in Hobart last week. Curtis Taylor might come into the equation having not entered the action last week as an unused medical substitute.

R13 medical sub: Curtis Taylor (unused)

Verdict: No changes for Saturday's clash with the Lions. - Riley Beveridge

Taylor Garner is helped from the field in round 13, 2021. Picture: Getty Images

The return of ruckman Scott Lycett is timely after a four-match suspension for a dangerous tackle, with tall forward Todd Marshall ruled out for Saturday's clash against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium. Peter Ladhams has been solid in the ruck and can rotate forward as support for Lycett, allowing the Power to retain a tall presence. Jarrod Lienert is the player pushing hardest for a call-up from the SANFL, racking up a team-high 26 disposals and 14 rebound 50s. He could come into the team and release flexible young gun Miles Bergman to a wing or half-forward role. Hamish Hartlett is available after being dropped after round 10, but forward Orazio Fantasia looks likely to miss another week with a knee injury. Kane Farrell (five disposals against Geelong) would be on notice at selection, while medical substitute Boyd Woodcock could be replaced this week. Overall, there aren't enough players pushing up at SANFL level to force mass change to a side that fell short again against a top team. 

R13 medical sub: Boyd Woodcock (replaced Todd Marshall)

Verdict: Lycett and Lienert for Marshall and Farrell, who moves to medical substitute. – Nathan Schmook

Scott Lycett in action against Carlton in round five, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

The Dogs are hopeful Stefan Martin will be available on Friday night to face Geelong after his shoulder injury against Fremantle before the Dogs' bye, while Easton Wood is pushing for a return after his hamstring injury. Ryan Gardner could miss out for Wood, while Pat Lipinski, Rhylee West and Louis Butler will also be pressing their claims on a senior spot in the starting 22.

R12 medical sub: Rhylee West (used)

Verdict: Wood in for Gardner - Callum Twomey

Easton Wood after injuring hamstring against Port Adelaide in round nine, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos