Adelaide Crows

Get them in: Bryce Gibbs should be available after missing last weekend's win over St Kilda with a virus. The leg speed of Chayce Jones – last week's travelling emergency – will be handy against a quick Fremantle side on Sunday. Has key forward Josh Jenkins done enough to earn a recall?

Under the pump: Myles Poholke (10 disposals) and Jordan Gallucci (12 disposals) didn't have a major impact against the Saints. Elliott Himmelberg will be forced out if Jenkins comes back.

Medical room: Luke Brown could play his first game back from an ankle injury, but would need to return through the SANFL.

Verdict: Gibbs back in to play across half-back, with Jones recalled to bring forward pressure and outside run. Poholke and Gallucci make way. Himmelberg's done enough to retain his spot ahead of Jenkins. - Lee Gaskin

Bryce Gibbs should be available after missing last week. Picture: AFL Photos

Brisbane Lions

Get them in: The NEAFL team is four from four and plenty of players are mounting strong cases. Ben Keays kicked another four goals in a strong performance, while untried duo Toby Wooller and Corey Lyons again showed they're ready for a call-up.

Under the pump: The players that had previously struggled all bounced back to form last week. Dan McStay would love to contribute more on the scoreboard but his ability to crash packs and bring the ball to ground shouldn't go un-noticed.

Medical room: Good news on this front with Harris Andrews and Rhys Mathieson back in full training after missing the win over Gold Coast with hamstring injuries. Zac Bailey, who hurt his hamstring in round three, should also be available.

Verdict: A good, even win last week makes it difficult to change the team, but Andrews is the team's vice-captain and best defender and must return. Unfortunately that means Ryan Lester would have to make way. - Michael Whiting

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Get them in: The Blues will hope Charlie Curnow recovers from a knee problem, while injuries to key half-backs could put a few fringe defenders in the frame. Matthew Kennedy was again good for the Northern Blues, while Andrew Phillips will be on standby. Will Setterfield returns from a two-week suspension.

Under the pump: Carlton has a few on the fringes of its best 22, but the team has enough injuries stemming from Sunday's game to mean most should be safe for now.

Medical room: The club will wait on Curnow as he recovers from knee soreness. A trio of players sustained injuries against Hawthorn, including Kade Simpson (hamstring), Nic Newman (knee) and Matthew Kreuzer (adductor). The Blues will be sweating on their fitness.

Verdict: There could be one good news story due to the injury list down back, with Liam Stocker and Tom Williamson performing serviceably in the VFL. Otherwise – and perhaps more likely – the club will recall Jarrod Garlett or shift Lochie O'Brien back into defence. Expect Setterfield and Kennedy to come into consideration, as well as Curnow depending on his fitness, while Phillips will be on standby depending on scan results for Kreuzer. - Riley Beveridge

Charlie Curnow has been a late withdrawal from the Blues' past two games. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: Small forward Jamie Elliott looms as a huge inclusion and defender James Aish also appears set to return against Port Adelaide at Marvel Stadium on Friday night, while veteran midfielder Daniel Wells continues to stake his claims with some solid form in the VFL. Top draftee Isaac Quaynor could come into consideration for an AFL debut to counter Port's speed in the forward half.

Under the pump: Battle-weary warriors Levi Greenwood and Travis Varcoe appear vulnerable, with Greenwood finding it tough to get involved down back on Anzac Day while Varcoe has been off the pace in four of his five outings this season.

Medical room: Elliott has recovered from a corked buttock while Aish seems to be over a bout of concussion.

Verdict: The fresh legs of Elliott and Aish to return, at the expense of Greenwood and Varcoe. - Ben Collins

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Get them in: Small defender Ben McNiece was best afield at VFL level but the Bombers aren't short for options in that area. Kyle Langford (25 disposals) and Dylan Clarke (24) keep pressing for midfield spots, while gun forward Orazio Fantasia is expected to be available after being ruled out last week with illness. 

Under the pump: Darcy Parish was dropped last week but came in as a late replacement for Fantasia and had a strong second half that must see him keep his spot. David Myers' midfield influence has been limited so could face some pressure.

Medical room: The Bombers will be hoping nothing is too serious with Devon Smith's knee complaint. He was not himself against the Magpies on Anzac Day before nursing his knee issue on the bench late in the game. Mitch Brown will miss a month with a hand injury, while Jayden Laverde sat out most of the VFL game with a hamstring problem.

Verdict: Likely to have at least a couple of forced changes through injury, with Aaron Francis a chance to come in, as well as Brayden Ham, who could return after being omitted after just one senior game. – Callum Twomey

Goalkicker Orazio Fantasia will make a welcome return for the Bombers. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: The Dockers believed Connor Blakely was ready if needed against the Bulldogs and the versatile young gun should be back after picking up 20 touches in his WAFL return from a long-term hamstring. 

Under the pump: Changing a winning team will be tough but Blakely is in the best 22. Ryan Nyhuis played with good intensity against the Dogs but could be squeezed back out. 

Medical room: There is a watch on Joel Hamling (leg) and Michael Walters (knee) ahead of the trip to face Adelaide.

Verdict: If Hamling and Walters are all clear, Blakely for Nyhuis could be the only change. - Travis King

Young gun Connor Blakely should force his way into the side. Picture: AFL Photos

Geelong Cats

Get them in: Chris Scott flagged Jordan Clark's return from his rest but dropping someone from the No.1 defence will provide a headache. Despite a VFL bye, James Parsons and Quinton Narkle are the next forward/midfielders in line, while ruckmen Ryan Abbott and Darcy Fort were both name emergencies last week. 

Under the pump: Tom Atkins has hardly put a foot wrong in his first six games, but if a change is necessary, he could be the one to fall out. Jack Henry is in the same situation in defence.

Medical room: Brandan Parfitt's quad strain will be tested this week. Gary Ablett is due for a rest in the next fortnight, will it be this week or next? At 32, could the Cats be conservative with Harry Taylor and give him the week off?  

Verdict: Clark for Henry due to Essendon's smaller forward line in the absence of the Bombers' injured talls. If fit, Parfitt for Atkins. – Mitch Cleary

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Gold Coast Suns

Get them in: After another three goals in the NEAFL, experienced forward Sam Day is demanding a spot. Aaron Young had 40 disposals and nine tackles at the lower level, while Anthony Miles was the game-day emergency. 

Under the pump: Plenty of players were down against the Lions, with young forward Jack Lukosius and wingman Jordan Murdoch among them. Will Brodie got some numbers but struggled to be effective. Peter Wright kicked two goals but dropped a number of marks he should have taken.

Medical room: Youngster Wil Powell will hopefully be available this week after missing the Brisbane match with a concussion that lingered from the previous week. Small forward Sean Lemmens (ankle) is also likely to come back through the NEAFL for his first game in eight weeks.

Verdict: Following two heavy losses, there needs to be some changes. Day in for Lukosius, Miles for Brodie and if Powell is passed fit he could return for either Murdoch or George Horlin-Smith. ­- Michael Whiting

Former Tiger Anthony Miles should return against the Eagles. Picture: AFL Photos

GWS Giants

Get them in: Co-captain Phil Davis could be a chance to face St Kilda after being a late withdrawal against Sydney with an ankle injury. Jackson HatelyIsaac Cumming and Nick Shipley have been in great touch in the NEAFL.

Under the pump: Medium defender Matt Buntine was dropped last week but earned a reprieve when Davis failed to get up, so if the skipper returns, he'll be the one to miss out.

Medical room: Davis will attempt to increase his training later in the week, but is no guarantee to prove his fitness, while Stephen Coniglio (finger) has avoided surgery, but Lachie Whitfield (corked thigh) is unlikely.

Verdict: Davis should return if passed fit, while Hately seems the logical replacement for Whitfield. - Adam Curley

The Giants will be tempted to play it safe with Phil Davis. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: Lots of options here. Harry Morrison responded to his demotion with 31 disposals, three goals and six tackles, while Dylan Moore bobbed up with three majors of his own. Defenders Conor Glass and David Mirra are also around the mark.

Under the pump: Kaiden Brand and Tim O'Brien, who was solid in his return last week, won't feel completely comfortable.

Medical room: Shaun Burgoyne is likely to return after a month out recovering from his latest hamstring injury. James Cousins tweaked an ankle but received a one-match suspension, anyway, so he'll miss the clash with Melbourne.

Verdict: Burgoyne comes in for Cousins. - Marc McGowan


Get them in: Melbourne will make at least one change with co-captain Jack Viney (shoulder) already ruled out. Declan Keilty has been around the mark for several weeks and two goals in the VFL again has him well in the frame again. Others that will be considered include Oscar McDonald, Harry Petty, Josh Wagner, Corey Wagner, Braydon Preuss, Tom Sparrow and Corey Maynard.

Under the pump: The delivery inside 50 has been atrocious, but Sam Weideman is badly out of form and could benefit from a stint in the VFL to rebuild his confidence. Jay Lockhart and Jeff Garlett also had quiet games against Richmond.

Medical room: Viney will be sidelined for two weeks with a shoulder injury, while Preuss (shoulder) will have to pass a fitness test to be cleared to play. Alex Neal-Bullen (corked hamstring) may also be in a bit of doubt.

Verdict: Oscar McDonald for Viney, Sparrow for Lockhart and Keilty for Weideman. Tom McDonald to play forward. - Ben Guthrie

Jack Viney will miss at least two matches. Picture: AFL Photos

North Melbourne

Get them in:  Jy Simpkin and Paul Ahern made compelling cases for instant AFL recalls, with 33 disposals apiece in the VFL. Taylor Garner continues to build his fitness, and laid five tackles at the weekend. Key defender Ben McKay might come into calculations because of Carlton's tall forward line if he's passed fit.

Under the pump:  Nathan Hrovat is the player who should be most nervous, but Sam Wright will be under pressure if Marley Williams returns.

Medical room:  Shaun Higgins (illness) will be a timely addition after being a late out last week, but Luke McDonald (knee) will have to pass a fitness test. Williams (ankle), Dom Tyson (calf), McKay (pneumonia) and Tom Murphy (ankle) should be right to go this week or next. Sam Durdin (finger) will play his first game of the year in the VFL, while Declan Watson (illness) should also be fine.

Verdict: Much depends on the health of defenders McKay, McDonald and Williams. Higgins is the only guaranteed addition, with Hrovat to make way. - Marc McGowan


Port Adelaide

Get them in: Steven Motlop, Karl Amon, Aidyn Johnson and Kane Farrell are in contention to replace the injured Robbie Gray. Motlop has his nose in front through his SANFL form since being dropped, while Amon has looked good in his two SANFL games since a knee injury.

Under the pump: Forward Todd Marshall hasn't made a huge impact on the scoreboard, with two goals from four games.

Medical room: Gray will miss a month with a broken hand. Co-captain Tom Jonas will miss another week with a minor calf complaint.

Verdict: Motlop returns to the side to replace Gray. Marshall keeps his spot to stretch the Magpies defence. - Lee Gaskin

Steven Motlop is a chance to be back for Friday night's big clash. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: Shai Bolton (25 disposals, 11 tackles) was outstanding in the VFL after his surprise omission from the senior side. Draftee midfielder Riley Collier-Dawkins had his best VFL game, while regular contributors Jacob Townsend and Connor Menadue were also good.

Under the pump: With just six touches, small forward Daniel Rioli was uncharacteristically quiet against Melbourne, although he did lay five tackles. He was coming off a bad corkie and a four-day break, and will be better for the rest.

Medical room: Jack Riewoldt's luck this season has gone from bad to worse, returning from a wrist injury only to injure his knee. He's facing 6-8 weeks on the sidelines. Full-back David Astbury will need to get through training this week after rolling his ankle against Melbourne. Jack Graham picked up a minor hamstring complaint in the VFL and is out for at least a week.

Verdict: A reverse of last week's team change, with Bolton coming in for Riewoldt. A 10-day break will help Astbury's cause, with Ryan Garthwaite on standby if needed. - Sarah Black.

St Kilda

Get them in: Sandringham is coming off a VFL bye but Hunter Clark and Brandon White have been excellent, while mature-age draftees Nick Hind and Robbie Young are going well.

Under the pump: After an impressive outing against Melbourne, Dean Kent struggled in the loss to Adelaide. Billy Longer took some nice marks around the ground but probably lost his ruck battle to Reilly O'Brien.

Medical room: Small forward Jack Lonie will miss after ligament damage in his right knee. Big man Rowan Marshall should be right after gastro forced him out of the loss to the Crows, while Josh Bruce was under an injury cloud in that match but should be fine.

Verdict: Young to debut for Lonie, Marshall for Longer. If Bruce doesn't get up, Longer to keep his place and Marshall to line up in attack. - Dinny Navaratnam

Mature-age recruit Robbie Young could make his debut for the Saints this week. Picture: AFL Photos

Sydney Swans

Get them in: Superstar forward Lance Franklin was a late out last week with a minor hamstring issue, and has been ruled out of the trip to Brisbane this week. Robbie Fox (37 possessions and three goals) and Colin O'Riordan (40 disposals and 12 marks) dominated the NEAFL last week to keep the pressure on the selectors.

Under the pump: Young forward Ben Ronke came in for Franklin after getting dropped last week but had no impact against the Giants, while Ryan Clarke and James Rowbottom also struggled. 

Medical room: The Swans are hopeful Franklin will be OK to face Essendon in round eight, while veteran Kieren Jack (hip) might be available this week after missing the derby. 

Verdict: Fox gets his first run of the year, with Ronke dropped. - Adam Curley

West Coast Eagles

Get them in: Expect Jake Waterman to earn a recall after booting 13 goals in three WAFL appearances, Matthew Allen has to be close to a debut after averaging 23 disposals, while Brendon Ah Chee and Jackson Nelson could add some grunt. Josh Rotham could also find his way back.

Under the pump: Not many will feel safe after the shambles in Geelong. Oscar Allen has faded after a strong start and might need a spell, Tom Cole is lacking confidence and Daniel Venables has gone backwards. 

Medical room: If Jack Redden is fit after being the latest Eagle to pull up with foot soreness he will be back against the Suns.

Verdict: The selection axe has to swing. Waterman looks a certainty, Redden will be back if fit and Matt Allen deserves a chance. Who goes out could be a raffle but Oscar Allen, Venables and Cole appear most vulnerable. - Travis King

After 13 goals in three WAFL games, Jake Waterman looks a certainty. Picture: AFL Photos

Western Bulldogs

Get them in: Defender Fletcher Roberts provided a strong contest and Lewis Young made a positive move from the backline into the ruck and forward in difficult conditions against Williamstown at Point Gellibrand Oval. Bailey Dale and Patrick Lipinski led a low possession count with 20 apiece.

Under the pump: Last season's leading goalkicker Billy Gowers had nine touches at the Bulldogs' lowest efficiency (55.6 per cent) on the ground and hasn't kicked multiple goals in a game since round two. Credits in the bank might help Tory Dickson who has been down on the standards set in previous years.

Medical room: Lin Jong spent time in hospital last week having his appendix removed and didn't play on the weekend. Ruck/forward option Tom Boyd has another game under his belt but is likely to be a week or two from AFL consideration.

Verdict: Gowers sacrificed to give Lipinski a well-earned opportunity. Other inclusions appear less likely, particularly against a Richmond side that possess a smaller line-up like the Bulldogs. – Paul Bastin