Carlton v Collingwood
Friday, February 2
Ikon Park, 7.45pm AEDT
B: J.Hosking 11, D.Hardiman 31, L.Brazzale 12
HB: G.Pound 6, A.Downie 30, B.Davey 1
C: S.Audley 26
HF: T.Harris 22, K.Harrington 9, N.Stevens 21
F: M.Gay 8, D.Vescio 3, S.Li 35
Foll: B.Moody 16, S.Hosking 10, K.Loynes 2
I/C: K.Shierlaw 25, L.Arnell 13, G.Gee 19, N.Plane 32, K.Gillespie-Jones 5
Emg: T.Lucas-Rodd 18, S.Last 7
B: S.Casey 22, S.Livingstone 12, C.McIntosh 20
HB: S.Chiocci 17, C.Edwards 1, E.Grant 5
C: M.Hope 23
HF: B.Bonnici 8, S.D'Arcy 4, C.Molloy 2
F: C.Bernardi 6, J.Garner 43, J.Duffin 27
Foll: E.King 60, J.Lambert 13, A.Barden 38
I/C: I.Ross 21, E.Hynes 11, S.Dargan 46, M.Kuys 9, B.White 33
Emg: R.Schleicher 18, H.Whitford 28
KEEP AN EYE ON
Carlton's two boom recruits, Tayla Harris and Nicola Stevens will make their debut for the Blues as will Jess Hosking who missed the 2017 season through injury.
Collingwood supporters will get to see new recruit Jaimee Lambert in the black & white for the first time and also highly-rated draftee Chloe Molloy.
Carlton and Collingwood each boast potent forward lines and similarly have a host of players who love to rebound from defence. Whichever team can get on top in the midfield, deliver long and deep to their forwards and negate the opposition's rebound defence, may well determine the outcome of this match.
Melbourne v GWS Giants
Saturday, February 3
Casey Fields, 5.05pm AEDT
B: L.Duryea 11, M.Downie 2, B.Jakobsson 7
HB: K.Smith 13, J.Grierson 19, C.Phillips 35
C: E.O'Dea 5
HF: L.Mithen 14, R.Cranston 30, S.Scott 12
F: T.Cunningham 1, D.Pearce 6, K.Hore 10
Foll: E.Hoare 46, K.Paxman 4, M.Hickey 18
I/C: A.Guest 17, L.Pearce 15, M.Guerin 22, E.Humphries 3, A.Newman 16
Emg: H.Cordner 21, A.Mifsud 9
B: A.Farrugia 18, T.Hetherington 9, E.Brush 10
HB: N.Barr 8, L.Stephenson 12, A.Eva 2
C: C.Gum 26
HF: M.Collier 14, J.Barclay 34, P.McWilliams 3
F: J.Dal Pos 7, C.Staunton 13, R.Beeson 6
Foll: E.McKinnon 23, R.Forth 27, B.Tully 16
I/C: M.Boyd 25, J.Hicks 5, P.Randall 21, R.Privitelli 19, E.Bennetts 22
Emg: P.Monahan 28, A.Schmidt 11
KEEP AN EYE ON
Former Carlton player Bianca Jakobsson will make her debut as a Demon, ever versatile, expect her to have an impact at either end of the ground. Former WNBL basketballer, Tegan Cunningham will be looking to replicate or better her three-goal performance from their practice match two weeks ago. Recently elevated rookie Erin Hoare (replacing the injured Ainslie Kemp) will make her debut in the ruck.
GWS have a host of new faces, but perhaps the biggest recruit is former Collingwood player Alicia Eva. The Giants have also stocked up on experience with Courtney Gum and Tanya Hetherington and keep an eye on cross-coder Jodie Hicks. Original marquee signing Renee Forth will also make her long-awaited debut after overcoming an ACL injury.
It's no secret that Melbourne's strength is its engine room. The midfield quartet of Daisy Pearce, Elise O'Dea, Karen Paxman and Melissa Hickey have played a lot of footy together over a long period of time. Add Lily Mithen, Ashleigh Guest and Emma Humphries to the mix and their midfield looks formidable.
In the AFLW competition though, names on paper count for naught, which GWS proved against Melbourne last season. With a bolstered midfield, a new coach and gameplan, expect the Giants to take it right up to the Dees.
Adelaide v Brisbane
Saturday, February 3
Norwood Oval, 6.45pm ACDT
B: S.Thompson 14, T.Radan 6, A.Hatchard 33
HB: A.Foley 3, C.Randall 26, D.Cox 31
C: E.Marinoff 10
HF: R.Lugg 45, J.Sedunary 17, S.Riley 8
F: J.Hewett 20, S.Perkins 28, E.Jones 2
Foll: R.Metcalfe 11, E.Phillips 13, J.Mules 23
I/C: D.Varnhagen 9, J.Allan 25, S.Allan 39, R.Wallace 15, G.Bevan 4
Emg: R.Killian 7, S.Armistead 16
B: N.Hildebrand 22, S.Campbell 20, J.Stanton 17
HB: K.Ashmore 10, L.Kaslar 11, B.Koenen 3
C: E.Zielke 8
HF: K.Lutkins 13, S.Webb 4, K.McCarthy 9
F: J.Wuetschner 23, T.Randall 16, J.Zanchetta 7
Foll: S.Frederick-Traub 14, E.Bates 1, M.Hunt 6
I/C: A.Anderson 18, A.Clarke 21, G.Collingwood 28, S.Conway 12, B.Gibson 25
Emg: K.Howarth 19, J.Keeffe 27
KEEP AN EYE ON
The reigning Premiers, Adelaide, have added some pace and excitement to their squad in Ruth Wallace and Jasmyn Hewett. The Crows will also unveil their first draft pick, Jess Allan (sister of Sarah). Allan is an impressive young ruck who was named vice-captain of last year's Under 18s All-Australian side.
Brisbane's debutants include highly touted draftees Jordan Zanchetta, Arianna Clarke and Sophie Conway as well as rookie Gabby Collingwood.
All eyes will be on Norwood Oval on Saturday night for the Grand Final rematch. Adelaide and Brisbane were the pace-setters in 2017 and there is no reason for that to change this year. Both teams boast talent across the park but pride themselves on even contributions from all 21 players. Both of their matches last year went right down to the wire, expect much of the same on Saturday.
Western Bulldogs v Fremantle
Sunday, February 4
VU Whitten Oval, 4.35pm AEDT
B: A.Utri 23, A.O'Connor 4, L.Birch 18
HB: H.Scott 22, I.Huntington 9, B.Lochland 1
C: E.Blackburn 2
HF: N.Callinan 10, B.Toogood 28, D.Berry 7
F: M.Conti 8, K.Brennan 3, J.Bruton 35
Foll: T.Ernst 19, E.Kearney 5, A.Gogos 36
I/C: D.Bannister 20, K.Lamb 27, N.Ferres 16, H.Wildes 17, E.Mackie 25, B.Hunt 21, L.Spark 11
B: B.Green 3, A.Williams 9, T.Haynes 6
HB: H.Miller 19, J.White 11, E.Antonio 12
C: D.Hooker 17
HF: S.Cain 20, E.Gooch 8, G.O'Sullivan 22
F: M.Caulfield 29, S.Barr 10, A.Atkins 37
Foll: A.Janz 30, L.Mascall 14, K.Donnellan 15
I/C: B.Smith 18, T.McAuliffe 25, A.Lavell 7, C.Davidson 33, L.Webb 16, A.Sharp 1, L.Filocamo 4
KEEP AN EYE ON
Number One draft pick Izzy Huntington is set to make her debut for the Bulldogs. Monique Conti, fresh from a WNBL Grand Final series for the Melbourne Boomers, will also debut. After a breakout VFLW season with the St Kilda Sharks, keep an eye out for Jenna Bruton.
For Fremantle, Alex Williams, after a season with the GWS Giants, will make her debut. Fremantle's other new faces include Leah Mascall, Evie Gooch, Ashlee Atkins and Jodie White who all bring a wealth of experience from the WAWFL competition.
Both the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle had tough first seasons in the AFLW competition and will be looking to start 2018 in positive fashion. Fremantle's midfield with the likes of Kara Donnellan, Lara Filocamo and Dana Hooker will look to quell the run and carry of the Bulldogs Ellie Blackburn and Emma Kearney, thereby cutting off supply to the ever-dangerous Katie Brennan. Both teams have a point to prove, this could very well be a nail-biter.
(Photos by AFL Photos)