The Complete AFL Round 6 Preview

A critical and detailed look at a rather unimpressive schedule.

Robert Whiteby Robert White

Western Bulldogs v Collingwood

Some big ins for the Dogs who receive Daniel Giansiracusa and Ryan Hargrave back while the Pies will welcome the return of Heath Shaw, but the Dogs still stink and this should be an easy win for last year’s finalists.

Essendon v Brisbane Lions

Essendon were unlucky five-point losers in Round 5 and are a class and half above the Lions who were utterly spanked during the first three quarters by the Cats last Sunday. Not inspiring stuff.

Courtenay Dempsey returns and is looking to continue his early career best form in 2012. Nathan Lovett-Murray also comes in while Michael Hibberd is forced to the sidelines with a hamstring injury.

Brisbane receives James Polkinghorn and Ryan Harwood back but lose Andrew Raines to suspension and Josh Drummond to a dreaded bout of soreness.

Geelong v Melbourne

Three consecutive games to open the round, all of which should be blowouts. Melbourne impressed with a lot of heart last week against the Saints but they are a long way off beating an opponent like Geelong.

Look to see if Tom Hawkins can put together consecutive dominant performances after kicking six in the wet last week.

James Kelly in for the Cats while Matthew Stokes and Taylor Hunt take a breather. Dees will be boosted by the return of Mitch Clarke who has recovered from that gruesome concussion.

Gold Coast v Fremantle

In what could be another blowout, Freo travels to the Gold Coast without a couple of stars (Sandilands, Fyfe) and Jack Anthony has finally been given the axe due to his poor form. You never know with Freo and while they will probably outclass the Suns, still minus Ablett, they are a team that always seems vulnerable.

Karmichael Hunt was so impressive last week as he continues to adjust to the AFL game. Without his captain around, Hunt will see more of the ball in the middle.

Freo have been stunning at times but dropped two very winnable games against Sydney and the Blues last week. It's time to step it up.

Josh Toy replaces Brandon Matera for GC.

Sydney v Adelaide

The Swans slipped through the cracks are a real contender in 2012 while Adelaide isn’t too shabby themselves. Fourth on the AFL ladder, Adelaide (4-1) hasn’t beaten a quality opponent and were blown out by a so-so Hawks squad earlier in the draw.

Guys like Scott Thompson, Rory Sloan and Patrick Dangerfield have been great through the first five games. Adelaide needs big production from those three and more if they are to take Sydney.

St Kilda v Hawthorn

I’m particularly excited to see this Saturday night matchup. Both are good teams that have been up and down in 2012. A win for either side could really kick start their season.

Will Brendan Goddard bounce back from a rare off game? Nick Dal Santo was shut down in rounds three and four before bouncing back last week, can he maintain the pace? Does Cyril Rioli put a lackluster start to the season behind him and explode this round? Just a few of the big questions surrounding this blockbuster.

No major changes other than the return of Isaac Smith. I like that kid.

Carlton v Greater Western Sydney

This is where I get a bit annoyed at the inclusion of two new AFL teams. The sparse amount of top notch talent has created a handful of teams that won’t win five games this year.

Carlton were brilliant against a solid Fremantle team last Friday night in Perth and will have no trouble with their 0-5 opponent despite resting a couple of stars- another reason why I hate the inclusion of under 18s teams like GWS. Out goes Judd, Jarrad Waite and Matthew Kreuzer, much to the dismay of fantasy owners everywhere.

GWS continues their trend of resting players so out goes Treloar and a couple of other kids while Adam Kennedy and Tim Mohr return from one week hiatuses. Some veteran backup also enters the GWS side: Rhys Palmer and Dean Brogan. You probably didn’t jump off your seat at that bit of news, but the tested bodies will help.

Port Adelaide v Richmond

The Tigers fell just short against West Coast last week, as did Port against the other Adelaide side, but I won’t be watching this one regardless.

Brett Ebert and Daniel Stewart are back for Port while disappoint rookie Chad Wingard is out with a shoulder complaint and Jay Schulz has a buggered eye.

Jake King in for the suspended Daniel Jackson.

West Coast Eagles v North Melbounre

One of the few watchable games scheduled for this week. Both are strong North might be in with a chance now that Josh Kennedy is out with that ankle and Todd Goldstein returns.

West Coast have the injury bug so this is a prime chance for the Kangaroos to knock off one of the last two remaining undefeated side while moving further into the eight themselves.

Cameron Pedersen makes his 2012 debut after an impressive rookie campaign last year. A good kid.