Bombers hit for six, Blues load up on star power

Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

Collingwood's bid to wrap up the minor premiership has been given a huge boost after Essendon were hit for six on the injury front, while Carlton have loaded up on star power for their match against Greater Western Sydney.

The fallout from Essendon's 126-point loss to GWS last weekend has gone from bad to worse, with Jake Stringer, Sam Draper, Peter Wright, Jye Caldwell, Matt Guelfi and Jake Kelly all ruled out of Friday night's clash with the Magpies at the MCG.

Sam Weideman, Nick Bryan, Will Snelling and Will Setterfield are among the inclusions, while retiring forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti will be the tactical sub.

Collingwood welcome back Jordan De Goey and Bobby Hill from injury, but defender Nathan Murphy has been ruled out.

The Magpies will be guaranteed to finish top with victory over the Bombers but a loss would open the door for the Brisbane Lions to leapfrog them.

The second-placed Lions have lost Lincoln McCarthy to injury but will still start as hot favourites against St Kilda at the Gabba on Saturday.

The Saints made the surprise decision to rest Max King a week after he booted 3.3 in a 33-point win over Geelong.

King's withdrawal has opened the door for forward Jack Hayes to play his first AFL match since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in round six last year.

Fifth-placed Carlton are leaving nothing to chance as they attempt to lock in a home elimination final.

Mitch McGovern, Sam Walsh and Adam Cerra have been named to return for Sunday's match against GWS, but Sam Docherty (calf) goes out.

The Western Bulldogs' slim finals hopes have been boosted by Geelong's injury crisis.

Mitch Duncan has been ruled out of Saturday night's match at GMHBA Stadium through suspension, while Jeremy Cameron, Tom Hawkins, Esava Ratugolea, Brad Close and Tanner Bruhn are all injured.

The Bulldogs get Tom Liberatore back from concussion but Taylor Duryea (suspension), Bailey Smith (illness) and Jack Macrae (concussion) have all been ruled out.

Fremantle's Michael Walters returns from a calf injury for Saturday's meeting with Hawthorn at the MCG, while defender Joel Hamling has earned a recall.

Dockers midfielder Jaeger O'Meara will miss with a calf injury, while the Hawks regain Jai Newcombe.

West Coast have recalled retiring stars Luke Shuey and Shannon Hurn for their Saturday night farewell against Adelaide.

The Crows have lost Rory Laird to injury and dropped Riley Thilthorpe.

A new era begins at Richmond on Sunday following the retirement of Jack Riewoldt and Trent Cotchin, while Dion Prestia (knee) will also miss the match against Port Adelaide.

Melbourne will welcome back forward Bayley Fritsch from a foot fracture for Sunday's clash with Sydney at the SCG, while Tom McDonald has been named in the extended squad.

North Melbourne have lost co-captain Luke McDonald (hamstring) and Jack Ziebell (retired) for Saturday's encounter with Gold Coast in Tasmania.

Luke Davies-Uniacke, who was a late scratching last week, hasn't been able to recover from his foot injury.

The Suns have lost Jack Lukosius and Bailey Humphrey to injury.