Dogs make four changes for crunch AFL game

AFL clubs North Melbourne and Western Bulldogs have taken contrasting approaches at the selection table ahead of their crunch Saturday night clash.

The Kangaroos made one change for the Etihad Stadium showdown that will shape the top eight, recalling Majak Daw in place of injured forward Jarrad Waite.

The Bulldogs opted for four changes to the team who were beaten in Geelong, promoting fit-again veterans Dale Morris and Matthew Boyd as well as Nathan Hrovat and Lukas Webb.

Injured midfielders Tom Liberatore and Jack Macrae were both enforced omissions for the Bulldogs, while Jed Adcock and Koby Stevens were dumped.

Hawthorn’s reigning Norm Smith medallist Cyril Rioli, Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker and Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands headline some of the high-profile returns in round 20.

The ladder-leading Hawks made one change for Saturday’s MCG clash with Melbourne, recalling fit-again Rioli at the expense of Blake Hardwick.

The Demons dropped Josh Wagner, Matt Jones and Chris Dawes, with debutant Sam Weideman, Clayton Oliver and Tomas Bugg earning call-ups.

Walker, Reilly O’Brien and Cam Ellis-Yolmen will return for Adelaide on Saturday night, when Sam Jacobs (ankle), Mitch McGovern and Scott Thompson (both managed) will miss the home clash with Brisbane.

Sandilands will return from broken ribs against West Coast on Sunday, when Eagles counterpart Nic Naitanui will also make his comeback from an achilles tendon issue.

Sandilands, Hayden Ballantyne, Michael Apeness and Ethan Hughes were included in an extended Fremantle squad, with suspended defender Zac Dawson the only confirmed omission.

The Eagles swung the axe, adding Naitanui, Thomas Barrass, Elliot Yeo, Jack Redden, Xavier Ellis, Lewis Jetta and Jackson Nelson to a 25-man squad.

Eric Mackenzie and Malcolm Karpany were dropped, while Sam Butler (groin) and Liam Duggan (calf) are sidelined with injuries.

Meanwhile, Collingwood and Richmond both settled on two changes for their Friday night meeting.

The Magpies called on Mason Cox and Jarryd Blair to replace Darcy Moore (hamstring) and Jordan De Goey (omitted), while the under-fire Tigers included Ben Griffiths and Andrew Moore in place of Reece Conca (hamstring) and Kane Lambert (omitted).

Sydney named an unchanged side for Saturday’s SCG match against Port Adelaide, who squeezed Jimmy Toumpas out of their team to accommodate Charlie Dixon’s return.

Dylan Shiel (groin) and Adam Kennedy (omitted) will miss Greater Western Sydney’s trip to the Gold Coast, with Nick Haynes and Lachie Whitfield to tackle the Suns in their absence.

Veterans Dale Thomas and Sam Fisher are set to return for their respective sides on Sunday at the MCG, when Carlton face St Kilda in Andrew Walker’s farewell game.

Off-season recruit Scott Selwood is set to play his first game for Geelong on Sunday when they face Essendon at Etihad Stadium.

The Cats also promoted Lachie Henderson, Josh Caddy, Shane Kersten and Darcy Lang in a 25-man squad.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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