Round 15 kicks off tonight but there are some team whispers for the other matches floating around.
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Premiership duo make timely Tigers return
Midfielder Dion Prestia and key defender David Astbury have been passed fit for tonight’s top-of-the-table clash against Sydney at Etihad Stadium.
Prestia has been absent since Round 7 due to a niggling calf problem, while Astbury missed the Tigers’ previous encounter against Geelong due to an ankle injury.
Kamdyn McIntosh and Ryan Garthwaite have both been omitted.
Experienced Swan returns
Veteran defender Jarrad McVeigh will line up for Sydney in tonight’s huge game against Richmond, while James Rose will play for the first time since Round 6, 2017 after some eye-catching performances in the NEAFL.
Small forward Tom Papley has been ruled out with a hip complaint, while Harry Marsh has been omitted.
Young Bulldog to debut
Western Bulldogs youngster Brad Lynch will make his debut in tomorrow night’s match against Geelong at Etihad Stadium. The 20-year-old will become the fourth debutant for the Dogs this season.
Matthew Suckling (Achilles) is a chance to return against the Cats.
Narkle’s Geelong debut confirmed
Quinton Narkle will debut for Geelong against the Western Bulldogs tomorrow night. Narkle will be the sixth debutant deployed by Chris Scott in 2018 following some impressive performances in the VFL.
Cameron Guthrie, Scott Selwood, Harry Taylor and Daniel Menzel are all in the mix for a senior recall.
Blues face fitness tests
Blues captain Marc Murphy is in contention to return against Port Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday after a lengthy stint on the sidelines due to a foot injury.
Levi Casboult (finger), Caleb Marchbank (ankle), David Cuningham (toe), Ciaran Byrne (quad) and Patrick Kerr (hip) will all face fitness tests to see whether they can take their places against the Power.
Matthew Kreuzer (ankle) is unlikely to play and Lachie Plowman will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Trengove gets Power opportunity
Recruit Jack Trengove will make his debut for Port Adelaide against Carlton on Saturday. Trengove has played just eight games since 2013, and will look to impress after making the switch from Melbourne during last year’s trade period.
Jack Watts and Karl Amon are in the mix after impressing in the SANFL, while defender Jack Hombsch is also a chance to return.
Darcy Byrne-Jones won’t play after turning up late for training while Tom Jonas has failed to recover from a hamstring injury.
A murder of Crows in the mix
Adelaide could be boosted by the potential return of a number of key players.
Rory Laird (hand), Rory Sloane (foot), Tom Lynch (side strain) and Luke Brown (ankle) are all a chance to play against West Coast at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday afternoon.
Eagles defender ruled out
West Coast stopper Tom Barrass has failed to recover from his back injury in time for the clash against Adelaide.
Star forward Josh Kennedy (knee) is still two weeks away, while the experienced Mark LeCras will miss due to a wrist injury.
Suns co-captain a chance to return
Gold Coast co-captain Steven May (wrist) is in the mix to return against Collingwood on Saturday night at Metricon Stadium, but will have to get through training first.
Defender Rory Thompson (hamstring) is a likely starter, while Sam Day has been ruled out with a shoulder injury.
Teenager Brayden Crossley is a chance for a senior recall after a dominant display in the NEAFL.
Young Pie set to replace Treloar
Midfielder Brayden Sier will make his debut for Collingwood against the Gold Coast on Saturday night.
Sier gets his opportunity after the long term injury sustained to gun midfielder Adam Treloar, who is set to miss the remainder of the home and away season.
The 20-year-old is the Magpies fifth debutant this season following the likes of Sam Murray, Jaidyn Stephenson, Flynn Appleby and Brody Mihocek.
Who replaces suspended Giant?
GWS has to replace key forward Jeremy Cameron who has been suspended for five matches. It could be Harry Perryman or Brent Daniels.
There is unlikely to be many other changes from Leon Cameron.
Hawks without star veteran
Hawthorn will miss Shaun Burgoyne for a few weeks with another hamstring.
Jon Ceglar may return after hurting his quad and if fit, will replace Tim O’Brien.
Jonno O’Rourke, James Cousins, Kieran Lovell, Teia Miles and Mitchell Lewis are all in the mix.
Key Dees should be right
Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin is confident Tom McDonald will play after bruising a lung last weekend.
Consistent defender Neville Jetta will be given every chance to prove his fitness after hurting his ankle and suffering a head knock at Port Adelaide.
Sam Weideman could replace Tim Smith after booting seven in the VFL while there are plenty knocking on the door including Sam Frost, Billy Stretch, Harrison Petty, Jeff Garlett and Charlie Spargo.
Some important ins for Saints
St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary is expected back after missing two matches with a calf strain. He could replace Jimmy Webster who has a groin issue.
Forward Josh Bruce is in the mix having not played since Round 3 due to a back problem. The likes of Sam Gilbert, Bailey Rice, Nick Coffield, Ed Phillips and Tom Hickey are all in contention.
Woosha has Bomber options
Essendon coach John Worsfold says Aaron Francis, Jordan Ridley and Patrick Ambrose will all be considered.
It looks as though Josh Green and impressive youngster Mason Redman will miss, with the latter expected to be sidelined for a while.
Hartung hamstrung for Roos
North Melbourne’s Billy Hartung injured his hamstring last week and may be replaced by Ben Jacobs if he has recovered from delayed concussion. Brad Scott says: “We’ll have to wait and see” on Jacobs’ availability.
Veteran forward Jarrad Waite will again miss with his calf aggravation.
Freo gets Sonny back from suspension
Fremantle star Michael Walters is back from suspension and could possibly replace the out-of-form Hayden Ballantyne.
Defender Alex Pearce broke his thumb in Round 12 but will return to the Dockers line-up if passed fit. If not, veteran Michael Johnson could play.
Reigning B&F winner Brad Hill has a week to run on his club-imposed suspension and is due back in Round 16 against Melbourne.
In a major blow for the Dockers, Connor Blakely is expected to miss up to six weeks after injuring his knee at training.
Brisbane to replace Andrews
Brisbane defender Harris Andrews will be sidelined for an unspecified amount of time following the enormous hit he copped from Jeremy Cameron last week.
It looks as though forward Dan McStay will replace him which would see an alteration in the defensive set up.
Mitch Robinson is expected back from a broken toe while Claye Beams and Cedric Cox will be considered after big performances in the NEAFL.
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Originally published on SEN.com.au