Predicted ins, outs and lineups for week two of the 2023 AFL finals – AFL News

The second week of the 2023 AFL Finals series is settled, with two mouth-watering semi-final affairs to lead us into the penultimate weekend of the season.

Before we reach the preliminary finals, where Collingwood and Brisbane are waiting, Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Carlton and GWS all have a chance to strengthen their premiership prospects through a do-or-die encounter.

The Demons will host the Blues at the MCG on Friday night in what is set to be a thrilling contest in front of another 90,000+ crowd, while Port Adelaide will bank on their second chance through a return to Adelaide Oval to meet with an in-form Giants outfit.

All four sides will have some big selection calls to make ahead of the second week of finals, with injuries and suspensions set to play their part in forced magnet moves.

Here we assess the potential changes all four sides could undergo and predict the likely lineups for both semi-finals.

Melbourne vs Carlton

Friday, 15 September
First Semi-final, Melbourne vs Carlton, MCG, 7.50pm AEST


Another big selection call looms for Melbourne’s forward line, with young tall Jacob van Rooyen rubbed out of the semi-final through suspension – pending a Tribunal challenge. His absence, coupled with injuries to Harrison Petty and Jake Melksham, could open the door for Brodie Grundy’s return. The former Magpies has played once since Round 17, which coincidentally came against the Blues in Round 22. Ben Brown is the other option for Simon Goodwin to consider, however the veteran forward has been battling knee soreness over the past month and has managed just seven appearances this year. Josh Schache would be viewed as an outside chance to earn a recall. van Rooyen isn’t the only player on the outer either, with Angus Brayshaw to miss after entering AFL concussion protocols. James Jordon looms as a fitting replacement and could leap tactical sub Bailey Laurie to land a spot in the starting side. Taj Woewodin would be another in the mix, while a recent hamstring injury could prevent James Harmes from making a return. Charlie Spargo could come into the side or take the sub role if Laurie fills in for Brayshaw in the 22. Defensive duo Daniel Turner and Adam Tomlinson may also be in consideration for the sub role.

Ins: Grundy, Jordon
 van Rooyen, Brayshaw

FB: Hibberd, May, Rivers
HB: McVee, Lever, Salem
C: Hunter, Viney, Jordon
HF: Langdon, McDonald, Neal-Bullen
FF: Fritsch, Smith, Pickett
FO: Gawn, Oliver, Petracca
I/C: Bowey, Grundy, Sparrow, Chandler
SUB: Laurie

EMERG: Woewodin, Tomlinson, Spargo


The Blues are also facing both injury and suspension challenges ahead of the opening semi-final, with Harry McKay ruled out due to concussion while Jack Martin has been slapped with a two-game ban for striking. Carlton will head to the Tribunal midweek in an attempt to free their in-form forward. If they fail in doing so, or accept the charge, then Michael Voss will likely promote elimination final tactical sub Jesse Motlop into his starting 22. McKay’s absence will open a spot for Jack Silvagni, however the medium-sized forward will need to prove his fitness after battling a knee issue in recent weeks. All of Matthew Kennedy, Zac Fisher, Paddy Dow, Oliver Hollands and Corey Durdin missed the win over Sydney and will be in consideration for a starting spot, or more likely the sub job.

Ins: Silvagni, Dow
Outs: Martin, McKay

FB: McGovern, Weitering, Newman
HB: Docherty, Kemp, Saad
C: Acres, Hewett, Cottrell
HF: Fogarty, De Koning, Cuningham
FF: Motlop, Curnow, Owies
FO: Pittonet, Cripps, Walsh
I/C: Marchbank, Cerra, Silvagni, Cincotta
SUB: Dow

EMERG: Kennedy, C.Durdin, Hollands

Port Adelaide vs GWS

Saturday, 16 September
Second Semi-final, Port Adelaide vs GWS GIANTS, Adelaide Oval, 7.10pm ACT/ 7.40pm AEST

Port Adelaide

Williams, Jonas, McKenzie, Boak, Byrne-Jones, Dixon, Bergman tall, Finlayso, Evans, Narkle

A trio of injury matters will need to be resolved over the coming week at Alberton, with Trent McKenzie (ankle) and Dylan Williams (hamstring) joining Charlie Dixon (foot) in the casualty ward following Saturday’s loss to the Lions. Williams will be in some doubt if any level of a strain is detected, while both McKenzie and Dixon will be racing against the clock to be fit. Dixon has flagged he’s a strong chance to play, but a return would mean Ken Hinkley has to choose whether to play all of Todd Marshall, Jeremy Finlayson, Ollie Lord and Dixon together for the first time. Lord loomed as the obvious omission for Dixon prior to his four-goal outing in the Qualifying Final. Can all four play in the same forward line? With McKenzie and Tom Jonas (calf) both unavailable, could Finlayson be deployed into defence as he has done in the past when with GWS? The smaller-sized defensive setup will likely force Miles Bergman to take on a taller Giants target along with Aliir Aliir, but more help might be needed to negate the likes of Riccardi and Hogan. Travis Boak can be expected to start against GWS after starting as the sub on Saturday night, taking Williams’ spot in the side, with Francis Evans, Quinton Narkle, Jase Burgoyne and Jackson Mead all in line for the sub role.

Ins: Dixon, Evans
Outs: McKenzie, Williams

FB: Farrell, Aliir, Jones
HB: Burton, Bergman, Houston
C: Boak, Butters, Duursma
HF: McEntee, Lord, Powell-Pepper
FF: Rioli, Marshall, Dixon
FO: Lycett, Horne-Francis, Rozee
I/C: Finlayson, Wines, Drew, Byrne-Jones
SUB: Evans

EMERG: Hayes, Burgoyne, Narkle


The Giants will put Stephen Coniglio under further tests over the coming days in the hope of clearing their former captain to be fit to face the Power. Coniglio was a late out to face St Kilda on Saturday due to an eye injury that left him with blurred vision on gameday. Xavier O’Halloran was his replacement in the starting side and had good moments against the Saints on the wing. A return for Coniglio could push O’Halloran back to the emergency role, or see the tactical sub Nick Haynes move out of the 23 altogether and allow O’Halloran to start the semi-final on the bench. Lachie Keeffe had a quieter game against the Saints in a more attacking utility role and could be used in a full-time defensive position against the Power given the threat of their tall forwards, while Haynes could be better suited for the lockdown role if needed. Expect all of Ryan Angwin, Braydon Preuss, Josh Fahey and Toby McMullin to be on standby for the Giants, who have enjoyed a clean bill of health for the right time of the season.

Ins: Coniglio
Outs: Keeffe

FB: Buckley, Taylor, Idun
HB: Ash, Himmelberg, Whitfield
C: Kelly, Green, Perryman
HF: Bedford, Riccardi, Daniels
FF: Lloyd, Hogan, Greene
FO: Briggs, Ward, Callaghan
I/C: Coniglio, Cumming, Brown, Haynes
SUB: O’Halloran

EMERG: Keeffe, Angwin, Fahey

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