Dylan Shiel has taken a big leap towards his long-awaited comeback after being named in Essendon’s extended squad of 26 for their crunch clash with GWS at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.

Shiel was still listed as 1-2 weeks away on the club’s injury list during this week, but the star midfielder is clearly ahead of schedule and now finds himself in line to play his first senior game since badly injuring his knee in round two against Port Adelaide.

If Shiel does get the nod, it will be interesting to see how he fits back into the Bombers’ on-ball brigade given Darcy Parish took his place in his absence and proceeded to have a spectacular breakout year.

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The Giants have welcomed back Lachie Whitfield and Shane Mumford too after their ruck crisis deepened after Matthew Flynn dislocated his shoulder against the Swans. Josh Kelly has been named despite being subbed out with ankle injury on Sunday while Jeremy Finlayson has been dropped after only managing three goals from his last four games, Jake Riccardi his likely replacement.

West Coast will be captained by Jeremy McGovern on Saturday after Luke Shuey wasn’t named to face St Kilda following yet another soft tissue injury.

Carlton have welcomed back co-captain Patrick Cripps for their encounter with North Melbourne on Saturday at Marvel Stadium, but Marc Murphy wasn’t as fortunate, although he might be the medical sub as he has been named an emergency.

Kangaroos hard nut Jed Anderson will play his first game since round three while his star teammate Ben Cunnington returns as well. But key defender Robbie Tarrant is out due to injury, paving the way for the much-anticipated battle between twin brothers Harry and Ben McKay.

Tom Liberatore returns for the Western Bulldogs’ top-of-the-ladder meeting with Melbourne on Saturday night at the MCG, but former skipper Easton Wood and Laitham Vandermeer have been given more time to recover from their respective ankle and knee injuries.

Forwards Josh Schache and Mitch Hannan join Liberatore in the Dogs’ line-up at the expense of dropped duo Hayden Crozier and Lachie McNeil as well as Josh Dunkley who has been forced into isolation after visiting a Tier 1 exposure site.

Melbourne regain James Harmes who comes in for Aaron vandenBerg but former captain Nathan Jones, who has been battling a calf complaint, was overlooked for selection.

Brisbane have recalled injury-hit midfielder Jarrod Berry for just his second game since round five, and have named Lachie Neale after the Brownlow medallist suffered a shoulder scare at training during the week.

Richmond have named premiership duo Shane Edwards and Josh Caddy in their extended squad for Sunday’s match-up with Geelong, while the Cats welcome back key duo Lachie Henderson and Gary Rohan.

AFL ROUND 19 TEAMS (All times AEST)

PORT ADELAIDE v COLLINGWOOD

Friday July 23, 7:10pm at Marvel Stadium

POWER

B: Burton, McKenzie, Aliir

HB: Bergman, Jonas, Byrne-Jones

C: Duursma, Wines, Houston

HF: Amon, Georgiades, Butters

F: Powell-Pepper, Dixon, Rozee

FOLL: Lycett, Boak, Drew

I/C: Marshall, Bonner, Woodcock, Ladhams

EMG: Mayes, Lienert, Frederick, McEntee

IN: Duursma, Butters, Rozee

OUT: Lienert, Mayes, Frederick, McEntee (all omitted)

MAGPIES

B: Quaynor, Roughead, Maynard

HB: Crisp, Madgen, Tohill

C: Poulter, De Goey, Noble

HF: Bianco, Cameron, Ginnivan

F: Sidebottom, Mihocek, Elliott

FOLL: Grundy, Pendlebury, Adams

I/C: Murphy, Henry, Macrae, Ruscoe

EMG: Cox, Lynch, Sier, Wilson

IN: Tohill, Ginnivan, Macrae

OUT: Mayne, Hoskin-Elliott, Thomas, C.Brown (all injured)

CARLTON v NORTH MELBOURNE

Saturday July 24, 1:45pm at Marvel Stadium

BLUES

B: Saad, Jones, Newman

HB: Plowman, Weitering, Williams

C: E.Curnow, Cripps, Walsh

HF: Newnes, Martin, Silvagni

F: Fisher, McKay, Betts

FOLL: De Koning, Dow, Kennedy

I/C: Stocker, Petrevski-Seton, Williamson, Cottrell

EMG: Kemp, Owies, Murphy, O’Brien

IN: Cripps

OUT: Owies (managed), Fogarty (sub)

KANGAROOS

B: Atley, McKay, Turner

HB: Ziebell, Walker, Hall

C: Dumont, Simpkin, McDonald

HF: Stephenson, Larkey, Thomas

F: Phillips, Zurhaar, Taylor

FOLL: Goldstein, Davies-Uniacke, Cunnington

I/C: Anderson, Scott, Bosenavulagi, Xerri

EMG: Polec, Lazzaro, Hayden, Campbell

IN: Cunnington, Anderson

OUT: Tarrant, Mahony (both injured), Lazzaro (omitted)

BRISBANE LIONS v GOLD COAST SUNS

Saturday July 24, 3:10pm at the Gabba

LIONS

B: Madden, Andrews, Starcevich

HB: Birchall, Lester, Rich

C: McCluggage, Bailey, J.Berry

HF: McCarthy, McStay, Zorko

F: Ah Chee, Daniher, Cameron

FOLL: McInerney, Lyons, Neale

I/C: Robertson, Robinson, Fullarton, Payne

EMG: Cockatoo, T.Berry, Prior, Ballenden

IN: J.Berry, Ah Chee

OUT: Coleman, Prior (both omitted), T.Berry (sub)

SUNS

B: Powell, Collins, Lemmens

HB: Lukosius, Ballard, Bowes

C: Atkins, Miller, Sharp

HF: Corbett, Burgess, Sexton

F: Rankine, King, Ainsworth

FOLL: Graham, Anderson, Swallow

I/C: Fiorini, Flanders, Rowell, Markov

EMG: Davies, Brodie, Jeffrey, Smith

IN: Markov

OUT: Ellis, Holman (both injured)

WEST COAST EAGLES v ST KILDA

Saturday July 24, 4:35pm at Optus Stadium

EAGLES

B: Hurn, H.Edwards, Cole

HB: Duggan, McGovern, Sheppard

C: West, Kelly, Sheed

HF: Langdon, Darling, Cripps

F: Allen, Kennedy, Ryan

FOLL: Naitanui, Yeo, Gaff

I/C: Waterman, O’Neill, Hutchings, Rotham

EMG: Brander, Witherden, Foley, Williams

IN: Kennedy, Waterman, O’Neill, Hutchings

OUT: Williams (omitted), L.Edwards, Petruccelle, Shuey (all injured), Nelson (sub)

SAINTS

B: Coffield, Howard, Webster

HB: Wilkie, Sinclair, Hill

C: Billings, Steele, Ross

HF: Membrey, Byrnes, Butler

F: Long, King, Kent

FOLL: Ryder, Dunstan, Jones

I/C: Connolly, Crouch, Hunter, Clavarino

EMG: Bytel, Sharman, Lonie, Allison

IN: Coffield, Hunter, Clavarino

OUT: Marshall (Covid isolation), Highmore, McKenzie (both injured), Bytel (omitted)

MELBOURNE v WESTERN BULLDOGS

Saturday July 24, 7:25pm at the MCG

DEMONS

B: Salem, May, Petty

HB: Hibberd, Lever, Rivers

C: Jordon, Petracca, Langdon

HF: Fritsch, McDonald, Neal-Bullen

F: Spargo, Brown, Pickett

FOLL: Gawn, Oliver, Viney

I/C: Harmes, Jackson, Brayshaw, Hunt

EMG: Bedford, Sparrow, Weideman, Smith

IN: Harmes

OUT: vandenBerg (omitted), Sparrow (sub)

BULLDOGS

B: Richards, Keath, Williams

HB: Duryea, Cordy, Dale

C: Macrae, Smith, Daniel

HF: Garcia, Naughton, Weightman

F: Ugle-Hagan, Bruce, Hunter

FOLL: English, Liberatore, Bontempelli

I/C: Schache, Hannan, Smith, Johannisen

EMG: Young, Crozier, Scott, McNeil

IN: Liberatore, Schache, Hannan

OUT: Crozier, McNeil (both omitted), Dunkley (Covid isolation), Scott (sub)

ADELAIDE CROWS v HAWTHORN

Saturday July 24, 7:40pm at Marvel Stadium

CROWS

B: Hamill, Butts, Kelly

HB: Smith, Doedee, Jones

C: Sholl, Keays, Seedsman

HF: McHenry, Fogarty, Murphy

F: Lynch, Himmelberg, Walker

FOLL: O’Brien, Laird, Sloane

I/C: Berry, Schoenberg, McPherson, Frampton

EMG: Mackay, Thilthorpe, O’Connor, Rowe

IN: Doedee, Frampton

OUT: Rowe (managed), Murray (injured), Mackay (omitted)

HAWKS

B: Grainger-Barras, Hartigan, Howe

HB: Hardwick, Frost, Scrimshaw

C: Moore, Worpel, Bramble

HF: Wingard, Breust, O’Meara

F: Koschitzke, O’Brien, Lewis

FOLL: McEvoy, Mitchell, Shiels

I/C: Reeves, Cousins, Phillips, Brockman

EMG: Greaves, Nash, Burgoyne, Jeka

IN: Hardwick, Scrimshaw, Wingard

OUT: Jeka, Greaves (both omitted), Burgoyne (managed), Newcombe (sub)

SYDNEY SWANS v FREMANTLE

Sunday July 25, 12:30pm at Metricon Stadium

SWANS

B: Fox, Rampe, McInerney

HB: Hewett, McCartin, Lloyd

C: Dawson, Florent, Gulden

HF: Wicks, Reid, Papley

F: Heeney, Franklin, Hayward

FOLL: Hickey, Kennedy, Parker

I/C (from): Blakey, Stephens, Bell, McDonald, Rowbottom, Ronke, Taylor, McLean

IN: Reid, McDonald, Taylor, McLean

OUT: Amartey (omitted)

DOCKERS

B: Wilson, Pearce, Ryan

HB: Young, Logue, Tucker

C: Aish, Fyfe, Cerra

HF: Colyer, Taberner, Walters

F: Schultz, Treacy, Henry

FOLL: Darcy, Mundy, Brayshaw

I/C (from): Walker, Banfield, Serong, Meek, Hughes, O’Driscoll, Blakely, Crowden

IN: Young, Taberner, Meek, O’Driscoll, Blakely, Crowden

OUT: Switkowski, Lobb (both injured), Acres (omitted)

GEELONG CATS v RICHMOND

Sunday July 25, 3:20pm at the MCG

CATS

B: Atkins, Kolodjashnij, Henry

HB: Stewart, Henderson, Blicavs

C: Menegola, C.Guthrie, Tuohy

HF: Dangerfield, Ratugolea, Miers

F: Bews, Hawkins, Smith

FOLL: Stanley, Selwood, Parfitt

I/C (from): Higgins, Narkle, Dahlhaus, Holmes, Close, Z.Guthrie, Rohan, O’Connor

IN: Henderson, Z.Guthrie, Rohan

OUT: Nil

TIGERS

B: Garthwaite, Astbury, Grimes

HB: Short, Mansell, Rioli

C: Edwards, Cotchin, Pickett

HF: Castagna, Baker, Aarts

F: Lynch, Bolton, Riewoldt

FOLL: Nankervis, Lambert, Parker

I/C (from): Stack, Chol, Ross, Graham, Ralphsmith, Caddy, Coleman-Jones, Collier-Dawkins

IN: Edwards, Caddy, Ralphsmith, Coleman-Jones, Collier-Dawkins

OUT: Martin, McIntosh (both injured)

ESSENDON v GWS GIANTS

Sunday July 25, 6:10pm at Metricon Stadium

BOMBERS

B: Laverde, Stewart, Redman

HB: Heppell, Ridley, Hind

C: Smith, Merrett, Cox

HF: Perkins, Wright, Snelling

F: Stringer, Hooker, McDonald-Tipungwuti

FOLL: Draper, Cutler, Parish

I/C (from): Durham, Zaharakis, Guelfi, Ham, Bryan, Gleeson, Waterman, Shiel

IN: Zaharakis, Bryan, Shiel

OUT: Nil

GIANTS

B: Taylor, Davis, Cumming

HB: Perryman, Haynes, Kennedy

C: Kelly, Green, Whitfield

HF: Daniels, Himmelberg, Taranto

F: Lloyd, Hogan, Bruhn

FOLL: Mumford, Coniglio, Hopper

I/C (from): O’Halloran, Ward, Reid, Idun, Sproule, Riccardi, Ash, Peatling

IN: Whitfield, Mumford, Riccardi, Ash, Peatling

OUT: Finlayson (omitted), Flynn (injured)