Just like every week, round 20 sees a number of inclusions and injuries to the playing stocks of AFL clubs.
Skipper Darren Glass is back this week for the Eagles in their clash with Geelong. However, both Matt Rosa and Brad Sheppard are looking unlikely, with Rosa suffering from a jaw injury and Shepard out from a corked thigh. Ashton Hams and Patrick McGinnity may also miss out, with Mitch Brown automatically out to make way for Glass’ return. For Geelong, Orren Stephenson is in the side in the absence of injured Trent West. Veteran speedster David Wojcinski may also get a run, after Geelong coach Brad Scott said he was looking for more speed in the side.
St Kilda play Melbourne on Saturday, and the Saints are likely to see the return of Jason Blake from an ankle injury. While he will provide some much needed new energy into the Saints’ defence, he has not played since having surgery in round 14. For Melbourne, Brad Green has made the announcement he will retire at the end of the season, although there are no big changes this weekend.
Adelaide take on Fremantle this Saturday, with Kurt Tippett named for Adelaide but not certain to make the final cut. Both Jason Porplyzia and David Mackay look like they will be cleared to play however, after suffering small injuries last week in their clash against Essendon. Fremantle are sporting pretty much the same line-up as last weekend, although Luke McPharlin is suspended, giving way to one of Alex Silvagni, Antoni Grover or Peter Faulks.
It’s Gold Coast vs GWS on Saturday, with the Suns suffering from a number of injuries in round 19. Zac Smith will be out with an ankle and Dion Prestia will be out with a hamstring, with Michael Rischitelli also looking unlikely after suffering a knee injury. Kyal Horsley and Aaron Hall will probably be looked at to start, although there are a few positions where it’s anyone’s guess. GWS might run Israel Folau after an injury to Jonathon Patton last weekend.
Sydney take on Collingwood on Saturday night, with Sydney player Mike Pyke in doubt and former Eagle Mark Seaby also injured. Collingwood will have to decide what to do about Dane Swan this weekend, after a 2 match suspension for breaching team protocols. His replacement could be a number of players, including Chris Tarrant and Alan Didak.
Carlton play Brisbane on Saturday, with the Blues seeing the return of both Andrew Walker and Mitch Robinson . Michael Jamison won’t play due to a hamstring problem however, although Robert Warnock could be recalled for the big game. Brisbane have moved Daniel Merrett back into defence for this clash, with Jordan Lisle and Patrick Karnezis included in the forward line.
The clash on Sunday between Hawthorn and Port Adelaide has also seen some changes, with Hawthorn likely to bring back Lance Franklin from a 4 week hamstring injury. In other news, Chance Bateman and Xavier Ellis are both listed as possibilities to replace the suspended Liam Shiels. Port are likely to start testing players out for next season, along with looking for a new coach.
Richmond play the Bulldogs on Sunday, and will play the same line-up as last weeks game against Brisbane. The Western Bulldogs are not so lucky however, with both Tom Liberatore and Luke Dahlhaus out for the rest of the season.
The last game of the round is between Essendon and North Melbourne, with Essendon losing both Jason Winderlich and Ben Howlett. Midfielder Leigh Adams could see a return for North Melbourne, with Lindsay Thomas still suspended and ruckman Hamish McIntosh opting for season-ending LARS surgery.