Seven inclusions for Saturday

Melbourne will welcome a mix of fresh and familiar faces to its Round 2 side, with seven changes to take on Carlton. 

As announced on Wednesday, Harley Bennell, Luke Jackson and Trent Rivers will all pull on the red and blue for the very first time.

The trio will be joined by Nathan Jones, Christian Salem, Jayden Hunt and Joel Smith, who have also been added to the team.

Missing the season opener with injury and illness concerns, Jones and Salem are fully fit, while Smith and Hunt will be eager to showcase their talents in the season re-start.

It will be the first AFL game since 2018 for Smith, after sitting out the entirety of last year with injury.

02:39 Mins
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The ones that missed

After making the trip to Perth way back in Round 1, Alex Neal-Bullen, Oscar McDonald, Michael Hibberd, Toby Bedford, Jay Lockhart and Mitch Brown have all been omitted from the side.

Spargo and Hibberd have been named as emergencies, alongside James Jordon and Sam Weideman.

What it means

With the industry shutdown finally coming to an end, there’s plenty of excitement around this match-up.

The Demons and the Blues will both be looking for their first wins of the season, with disappointing Round 1 showings currently positioning them towards the bottom of the ladder.

And with each club only playing 17 home-and-away games in 2020, banking the early victory is more important than ever.

Look out for

One name: Harley Bennell.

The former No.2 draft pick will take to the field for the first time since Round 23, 2017 on Saturday, making his long-awaited AFL return.

Bennell, who was signed as a rookie during the AFL’s supplemental selection period in February, will provide plenty of excitement to Demon fans and the AFL community alike.

Having successfully managed his calf concerns under High Performance Manager Darren Burgess, the midfielder could be the spark the Dees need to get a win on the board.

02:09 Mins
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Oppo watch

After a lacklustre Round 1 clash against Richmond, the Blues will be keen to prove themselves this weekend.

The game could be won in the midfield, with two of the game’s best contested possession-getters in Clayton Oliver and Carlton’s Patrick Cripps set to do battle.

Jack Martin will also be one to watch, after an impressive performance in his first game as a Blue.

Match info

Unfortunately, Melbourne fans won’t be in the stands just yet, with the continuation of safety restrictions around COVID-19.

For full information about Saturday contest, take a look at the GAME DAY GUIDE.

Full team