In the mix: Round 12

Who could play against the Blues again?

Striker Charlie Dixon is likely to return against the Blues. Image: AFL Photos.

PORT ADELAIDE will be forced to make at least one change for Thursday night’s huge clash against Carlton, with Willie Rioli missing the game through injury.

The exciting forward came off early in the win over North Melbourne in Hobart on Saturday and scans confirmed a calf strain.

It has opened the door to a reshuffle of the forward line, and one man sure to return is Charlie Dixon, who was rested for the trip to Tasmania.

Another who may be more of a like-for-like replacement is young first-year player Tom Anastasopoulos, who made the trip across Bass Strait as an AFL emergency for the first time.

The 48th pick in last year’s draft, Anastasopoulos’ speed and poise forward and his willingness to defend from the front have made him a standout in six SANFL games so far this season. He has averaged 11 kills and four tackles per game.

Recruit Tom Anastasopoulos has impressed so far at SANFL level, throwing his name into the mix for an AFL call-up. Image: Brandon Hancock.

Francis Evans was among the SANFL’s best players on a disappointing day at Noarlunga on Saturday. He had 21 disposals and a goal, but he also had seven marks, five clearances and six inside 50s as the Magpies lost to the Panthers at Flinders University Oval.

Tom Clurey also continued his strong SANFL form with 21 touches of his own. He also received 10 points and made four tackles.

There was also a welcome return from minor knee surgery for Ivan Soldo to give the selectors three rucks to choose from. Soldo played controlled ruck minutes in the SANFL in his first game since the AFL Round 7 match against Collingwood, and finished with 28 hit-outs, nine disposals and three clearances, importantly, bouncing back well afterwards.

Port Adelaide will name its team for Thursday night’s meeting with Carlton on Wednesday night at 5:50 pm ACST.

The first bounce at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night will be at 7:00 pm ACST.