WHO IS a chance to play in the second week of finals?
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 ins and outs for this weekend's semi-finals. Check it out.
There will be a couple of enforced changes for the Blues ahead of Friday night's semi-final against the Demons. Harry McKay (concussion) has entered the League's 12-day protocols and won't play, while Jack Martin (suspension) is also unavailable. Jesse Motlop should return in a smaller forward line, but coach Michael Voss will need to ponder whether he wants another marking option. Jack Silvagni (knee) is the obvious solution, should he pass a fitness test later this week. Matt Kennedy could also be a left-field choice, given he can replicate Martin's forward-midfield splits. Paddy Dow, Ollie Hollands and Zac Fisher were among the emergencies last week and will all be considered as the tactical substitute. - Riley Beveridge
EF sub: Jesse Motlop (replaced Harry McKay)
Jesse Motlop celebrates a goal during Carlton's clash against St Kilda in round 21, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos
The Giants made a late decision to rule out Stephen Coniglio (eye) last week, but are confident he will return for Saturday night's semi-final against the Power. Xavier O'Halloran, who was initially meant to be the sub last week, came into the starting team but could return as the 23rd man this weekend. That could spell unlucky news for Nick Haynes, who was originally brought to Victoria as the travelling emergency before Coniglio's unfortunate accident at training saw him elevated into a sub role. Ryan Angwin and Braydon Preuss were the others named as emergencies last week. - Riley Beveridge
EF sub: Nick Haynes (replaced Isaac Cumming)
Nick Haynes warms up ahead of the elimination final between GWS and St Kilda at the MCG on September 9, 2023. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos
There'll be at least two changes for the Demons this week, with midfielder Angus Brayshaw (concussion) and forward Jacob van Rooyen (suspension) sidelined. They're big holes to fill, but there's a few options waiting in the wings. With Tom McDonald, Joel Smith and Bayley Fritsch already up forward, the Demons might opt to go smaller in attack with Charlie Spargo or Taj Woewodin suitable options. If they stick with another tall, Ben Brown has finally overcome his knee issues and is available, or Brodie Grundy might return to play the forward role that has been touted for him since the Gawn-Grundy ruck project was shelved. Josh Schache is also a taller option, but having only played two games at the top level this season (including one as sub), that would be a left-field choice. Expect either James Jordon or James Harmes to get the nod to replace Brayshaw. – Alison O'Connor
QF sub: Bailey Laurie (replaced Angus Brayshaw)
Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn at Melbourne training on September 4, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos
So much depends on Port's injured players as to who will line up against Greater Western Sydney in Saturday night's semi-final at Adelaide Oval. Charlie Dixon will train this week and is hopeful of overcoming a foot injury that has prevented him playing since round 20, while defenders Dylan Williams (hamstring) and Trent McKenzie (ankle) are still a chance to line up against the Giants. The speed of Francis Evans could be considered in a re-jig, while Jase Burgoyne would come into the frame if the defensive stocks are weakened. – Michael Whiting
QF sub: Travis Boak (replaced Darcy Byrne-Jones)
Charlie Dixon kicks the ball during a Port Adelaide training session on September 12, 2023. Picture: Port Adelaide FC
MELBOURNE has resisted the temptation to recall Brodie Grundy, Port Adelaide has axed Jeremy Finlayson from its 22 and Carlton has brought in Matt Kennedy for this weekend's semi-finals.
Finlayson has made way for Port spearhead Charlie Dixon for the Power's clash with Greater Western Sydney, while Kennedy has replaced towering Blues forward Harry McKay (concussion) for their game against the Demons.
But the chief interest lies with the Dees' reshuffle after their costly, narrow loss to Collingwood in the qualifying final last week.
Coach Simon Goodwin has opted for a smaller forward line in the wake of Jacob van Rooyen's suspension, recalling Charlie Spargo for his first game since round 18.
1 hr Footy Feed: Blue not ready, Gill hits back, Daicos latest
Nat Edwards and the Footy Feed team with all the latest news James Jordon comes in as a like-for-like replacement for the concussed Angus Brayshaw, and Adam Tomlinson adds another tall defender down back in place of the omitted Michael Hibberd.
Carlton has brought Kennedy back for his first game since round 17, while Jesse Motlop comes into the 22 to replace the suspended Jack Martin after being last week's sub.
In Saturday night's clash between the Power and the Giants at Adelaide Oval, Dixon comes in for Finlayson, while coach Ken Hinkley has also named Trent McKenzie (ankle) and Todd Marshall (hip), who had both been under injury clouds.