Christian Petracca celebrates a goal against St Kilda in R17, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

GUN MELBOURNE midfielder Christian Petracca could be set for more time in attack and goalsneak Kysaiah Pickett some extended cameos in the midfield as coach Simon Goodwin weighs up the best mix for his team.

Petracca helped spark Melbourne's misfiring attack last week with four goals in a 21-point win over St Kilda.

The Demons' total of 12.7 (79) was their highest score since round nine, when they posted 15.13 (103) in a 54-point demolition of Hawthorn.

Goodwin made the decision to give Petracca extended time up forward last week in a bid to cover the loss of Bayley Fritsch, who will miss a lengthy period with a foot fracture.

Petracca's performance against the Saints in attack was so good that he is a strong chance to play a similar role in Friday night's top-four showdown against Brisbane at the MCG.


"We'll continue to play Christian where we think the game needs," Goodwin told reporters on Tuesday.

"That could be in the forward half of the ground, it could be around the ball.

"One week in it (our forward line) looked better, but we need some more evidence to continue to move forward.

"We'll continue to look at what's best for us to continue to improve that phase of our game and it's something that we're certainly not in denial about."

Pickett was scoreless from just four disposals against the St Kilda last week.

The 22-year-old has booted just eight goals from his past eight games, and a shift to the midfield is one option Goodwin is contemplating.


"It's something that we'll continue to work through is how we best get him involved in the game and how he best helps the team," Goodwin said.

"Clearly, you want him in both areas of the ground at times, similar to Christian Petracca.

"We need him forward of the ball to help our forward half and at times we'll get him around the pill.

"So we'll continue to look at ways we can get 'Kozzy' into the game - whether it be around stoppage, centre bounce or forward of centre.

"I'm sure 'Kozzy' will be back in his best form shortly."

Kysaiah Pickett in action during the R16 match between Melbourne and GWS at TIO Traeger Park on July 2, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Star midfielder Clayton Oliver will miss his seventh straight match with a hamstring injury, and it remains to be seen when he'll be ready to return.

"Clearly he's got a hamstring strain that has been difficult to manage," Goodwin said.

"It's a really difficult hamstring in terms of the fact that it's a muscle that is really close to the tendon with some tendon involvement.

"The hamstring injury that he's got (means) he can't hit top speed. It just needs more time.

"It's a difficult injury to get right but when he's right, he'll play."