IN: McDonald, Sparrow
OUT: Bennell (managed), Jetta (omitted)
Two Toms return
Tom McDonald and Tom Sparrow are the two Demons to have earned a recall for Round 9, adding a new look to the Melbourne outfit.
The inclusion of a third key forward will help the Dees mark the ball inside 50, while Sparrow’s call-up will allow him to play his first senior game since Round 2 last season.
The ones that missed
Simon Goodwin announced on Wednesday afternoon that Harley Bennell would miss the clash with Port Adelaide due to load management, while Neville Jetta has been omitted from the side.
A number of other Demons missed selection despite performing well in the reserves practice match last week.
Joel Smith, Alex Neal-Bullen and Jayden Hunt are among those still vying for a spot, while Adam Tomlinson hasn’t had the chance to play a game since being left out of the side in Round 6.
What it means
It’s not do-or-die for the Dees just yet, with four of the bottom five teams still to play, but with just three wins from seven games so far, they would certainly like a win at The Gabba.
Although they have a game in hand, the Demons are six points out of the top eight, so a win against the Power gets them back in finals contention.
Look out for
The match-up to watch is Steven May v Charlie Dixon.
Dixon has kicked 16 goals for the season and he’s the focal point of the Port Adelaide forward line.
At 200cm and 107kg, Dixon is a daunting proposition, so May will undoubtedly have his work cut out on Thursday night.
The top of the table Power were outplayed by St Kilda last week, falling unexpectedly by 29 points on home turf.
They’ll be on the rebound looking to stay a game clear in the top-two, and they’re a tough side to play against, conceding the second least points in the league this season.