UNDER-SIEGE Carlton coach Brendon Bolton has wielded the selection axe, chopping three players for Sunday’s pivotal encounter with St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.
Meanwhile, Greater Western Sydney has locked in star midfielder Stephen Coniglio, back from a finger complaint, for an MCG litmus test against Melbourne.
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Fremantle has overlooked Cam McCarthy to replace spearhead Matt Taberner (foot), instead handing a debut to hard-running former Williamstown wingman Brett Bewley.
In other news, the Crows have suffered a blow with hard-working forward Tom Lynch out of the West Coast clash on Saturday at Adelaide Oval.
Lynch suffered a low-level hamstring strain at training on Thursday and has been replaced by Paul Seedsman, with young tall Darcy Fogarty coming onto the emergencies list.
The Blues have lost former skipper Marc Murphy (ribs) after his crunching hit from Shane Mumford, and dumped Will Setterfield, Harrison Macreadie and Lochie O’Brien in response to the 93-point belting from the Giants.
Into the line-up come veteran half-back Kade Simpson (hamstring) and Lachie Plowman (fractured cheekbone) after injuries, with David Cuningham overcoming soreness and Matthew Kennedy also returning.
The blowtorch has been on Carlton all week but it could quickly switch to Moorabbin if St Kilda can’t arrest a four-game losing slide against the last-placed Blues.
The Saints have made only one change to the team which pushed Collingwood for three quarters before collapsing, with Ben Long back to replace Ben Paton (managed).
The Giants have added Coniglio and academy product Isaac Cumming for their intriguing meeting with Melbourne at their bogy ground.
Leon Cameron’s side has won only twice from 16 visits to the home of football, and suffered a shock loss to Hawthorn two weeks ago.
Running defender Zac Williams (hamstring) is unavailable, while Daniel Lloyd has been omitted.
The Demons line-up which pushed West Coast in Perth is stable, with Corey Wagner coming in for Alex Neal-Bullen (concussion) in the only change for the must-win game.
Fremantle has opted for more running power against the Lions, with last year’s pick 59 Brett Bewley earning his first start after some solid WAFL form in the Dockers’ solitary change.
Brisbane welcomes back Luke Hodge from a calf niggle and has called up former NAB AFL Rising Star winner Lewis Taylor for just his third appearance this season.
Big-bodied mid Jarrod Berry (knee) is injured, while Rhys Mathieson (suspension) also misses Lachie Neale’s return to Perth to face his former Freo teammates for the first time.
Friday, May 24
Sydney v Collingwood at the SCG, 7.50pm AEST
In: L.Franklin, J.Kennedy
Out: Z.Jones (hamstring), J.Rowbottom
In: J.Madgen, D.Wells
Out: T.Langdon (knee), T.Varcoe (suspension)
Saturday, May 25
Hawthorn v Port Adelaide at UTAS Stadium, 1.45pm AEST
In: J.Frawley, C.Wingard
Out: D.Moore, B.McEvoy (ankle)
In: T.Jonas, R.Gray, P.Ladhams
Out: J.Garner, S.Lycett (adductor), J.Atley
New: Peter Ladhams (Norwood SANFL)
Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium, 2.10pm AEST
In: B.Dale, T.English, P.Lipinski, B.Williams
Out: F.Roberts, B.Gowers, W.Hayes, La.Young
Adelaide v West Coast at Adelaide Oval, 4.05pm ACST
In: W.Milera, P.Seedsman
Out: B.Gibbs, T.Lynch (hamstring)
In: W.Schofield, J.Waterman, J.Nelson
Out: L.Jetta (suspension), T.Hickey (ankle), D.Venables (concussion)
Gold Coast v Geelong at Metricon Stadium, 7.25pm AEST
Out: S.Collins (hip)
In: T.Atkins, R.Stanley, J.Parsons
Out: P.Dangerfield (ankle), R.Abbott, C.Constable
Richmond v Essendon at the MCG, 7.25pm AEST
In: C.Coleman-Jones, D.Rioli
Out: I.Soldo (suspension), K.Lambert (Achilles)
New: Callum Coleman-Jones (Sturt SANFL)
In: J.Laverde, S.McKernan
Out: J.Daniher (groin), M.Baguley
Sunday, May 26
Melbourne v Greater Western Sydney at the MCG, 1.10pm AEST
Out: A.Neal-Bullen (concussion)
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
In: S.Coniglio, I.Cumming
Out: Z.Williams (hamstring), D.Lloyd
St Kilda v Carlton at Marvel Stadium, 3.20pm AEST
Out: B.Paton (managed)
In: K.Simpson, L.Plowman, M.Kennedy, D.Cuningham
Out: M.Murphy (ribs), L.O’Brien, H.Macreadie, W.Setterfield
Fremantle v Brisbane at Optus Stadium, 3.20pm AWST
Out: M.Taberner (foot)
New: Brett Bewley (Williamstown VFL)
In: L.Hodge, L.Taylor
Out: R.Mathieson (suspended), Jarrod Berry (knee)
Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS