Magpies desperate to score another win against Brisbane
LIONS V MAGPIES
- At the Gabba, Brisbane, 7.50pm
- Recent record: Collingwood 6 Brisbane 4
- Last time: R7 2012 - Coll 17.14 (116) def Brisbane 8.10 (58) at the Gabba
Collingwood's task of bouncing back from its heavy loss to Sydney has been made easier by Brisbane being decimated.
Bookends Daniel Merrett and Jonathan Brown are suspended, while ruckman Matt Leuenberger and midfielder Tom Rockliff have joined Daniel Rich on the injured list.
The pressure will be on the Lions Cubs, including rookie defender Justin Clarke who comes back in to get the job on Travis Cloke, Billy Longer, who may battle both Darren Jolly and Ben Hudson in the ruck, and Jordan Lisle, who will lead the attack.
At 5-4, the Magpies will be desperate to make it four wins from their last six visits to the Gabba, and will have Heath Shaw back.
BLUES V GIANTS
- At Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, 1.45pm
- Recent record: Carlton 1 GWS 0
- Last time: R6 2012 - Carlton 15.20 (110) def GWS 6.7 (43) at Etihad
GWS has leaked an average 150 points in its past five games, and Carlton won't be about to ease up on the 'new kids' at Docklands.
With games against Essendon and Hawthorn to come, the Blues will be keen to get their kicking for goal sorted after slotting 13.20 against the Lions.
In particular Jarrad Waite, who got through the game without getting injured or suspended, but kicked 3.3 after taking seven contested marks and seven marks inside-50m - both of which were round-high tallies.
The Blues' attack will also be boosted by the return of the dangerous Chris Yarran.
CROWS V DOCKERS
- At AAMI Stadium, Adelaide, 2.10pm
- Recent record: Adelaide 7 Fremantle 3
- Last time: SF 2012 - Adelaide 12.9 (81) def Fremantle 11.5 (71) at AAMI
Like its opponent, Adelaide has been thriving with a makeshift attack, kicking 59 goals in the last three weeks, including five in the last 10 minutes to beat North.
But, it could have a tough time getting past the league's most miserly defence.
Midfielders Nat Fyfe, after his club-record 25 contested possession in the 90-point win over Melbourne, and Ryan Crowley, who will tag Pat Dangerfield, will also be keys to the visitors' hopes of beating the Crows at home for the first time in three attempts.
SWANS v BOMBERS
- At the Sydney Cricket Ground, 4.40pm
- Recent record: Sydney 6 Essendon 4
- Last time: R11 2012 - Sydney 13.8 (86) def Essendon 11.16 (82) at Etihad
These two have played out some absolute thrillers in recent times.
Sydney has won three of the last four by margins of four, five and nine points, with Essendon winning the other by one.
We should be in for another epic in the match of the round, though the fifth-placed Swans must start slight favourite at home against the third-placed Bombers after dismantling Collingwood.
The battle in the middle will be a beauty with contested-ball masters Josh Kennedy and Jobe Watson going head-to-head.
Sam Reid is out for the hosts, but his loss could be offset by the possible absence of Michael Hurley for the visitors.
CATS V SUNS
- At Simonds Stadium, Geelong, 7.40pm
- Recent record: Geelong 3 Gold Coast 0
- Last time: R15 2012 - Geelong 15.20 (110) def GC 13.18 (96) at Metricon Stadium
Leading the flag favourites by as much as 17 points at one stage last week, the Suns will head back to Victoria, this time to Sleepy Hollow, with as much confidence as they've ever had.
And though a win looks beyond them, Gary Ablett's men (we can say that now) will go a lot closer than they did the first time they visited in 2011 when the Cats won by 150 points.
While James Kelly returns to the Geelong side, spearhead Tom Hawkins looks ominous after booting six goals in an easy win over Port.
BULLDOGS V POWER
- At TIO Stadium, Darwin, 7.40pm
- Recent record: Bulldogs 7 Port 3
- Last time: R12 2012 - Bulldogs 13.17 (95) def Port 8.9 (57) at Etihad
After they recorded just their second victory in 20 outings when upsetting St Kilda last week, the Bulldogs will be aiming to win their sixth straight at their NT home and sixth straight against Port.
They still need some forwards to fire though, and can''t rely on defender Dylan Addison (four goals last week) to help kick them a winning score very week.
After winning its first five, the Power looks down and out and a fifth straight defeat looks a strong possibility.
DEMONS V HAWKS
- At the Melbourne Cricket Ground, 3.15pm
- Recent record: Melbourne 0 Hawthorn 10
- Last time: R7 2012 - Hawthorn 15.25 (115) def Melbourne 6.13 (49) at the MCG
The Demons are welcomed back to Melbourne from their disastrous trip west to play Fremantle by having to confront the side it has the worst recent record against.
As they did against GWS and Gold Coast, the Hawks will probably only need a quarter to roll Melbourne and make it 10 in a row against it.
The Demons have now conceded more than 100 points in its last 11 games - a stat that does not augur well for this clash against the league's heaviest-scoring team.
Grant Birchall's return will boost the Hawks.
ROOS V SAINTS
- At Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, 4.40pm
- Recent record: North 3 St Kilda 7
- Last time: R14 2012 - North 21.10 (136) def St Kilda 15.13 (103) at Etihad
North's nightmare start to the season got a whole lot worse after giving up a five-goal lead late in its game against Adelaide - the painful defeat making it four losses by four points or less in nine games.
Surely, the Kangaroos can get the job done this week though against a struggling St Kilda side that bowed to the Bulldogs - and in club great Brent Harvey's 350th game.
They will have to fight until the final siren though, especially missing suspended midfielder Jack Ziebell.
EAGLES V TIGERS
- At Patersons Stadium, Perth, 7.40pm
- Recent record: West Coast 7 Richmond 3
- Last time: R5 2012 - WC 16.11 (107) def Richmond 14.13 (97) at the MCG
Just when you think the Tigers are shaping up as definite finalists, they disappoint.
They were never in the game against Essendon, and now must head west, where they have lost their past five, and take on the resurgent Eagles, who have risen nine places from 15th to sixth in the past four weeks.
The Tigers need to improve their ranking of 18th for tackles - and need a big scalp, but it won't be West Coast.
Eagle forwards Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling kicked five goals each in the 100-point win over GWS last week and loom large again.