The fifth part of this six-part series features the five players that the Port Adelaide Power, Richmond Tigers and St Kilda Saints can least afford to lose in season 2021 plus an honourable mention.
Seven of the 22 players chosen in Round 12’s predicted team received coaches’ votes: Dane Rampe, Luke Ryan, Sam Menegola, Marcus Bontempelli, Angus Brayshaw, Taylor Adams and Lachie Neale.
There are no teams that have a bye in Round 13, which means all teams have players that can be chosen from. However, four teams have no players in the predicted team – Adelaide Crows, Melbourne Demons, Port Adelaide and Richmond.
Five players retain their position from Round 12’s predicted team: Sam Docherty, Sam Menegola, Marcus Bontempelli, Jarrod Witts and Zach Merrett.
B: Grant Birchall (Brisbane Lions), Michael Hurley (Essendon), Caleb Daniel (Western Bulldogs)
HB: Brayden Maynard (Collingwood), Jeremey McGovern (West Coast), Sam Docherty (Carlton)
C: Sam Menegola (Geelong), Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs), Josh Kelly (Giants)
HF: Shaun Higgins (North Melbourne), Matt Taberner (Fremantle), Jack Billings (St Kilda)
FF: Tim Membrey (St Kilda), Ben King (Gold Coast), Tim Taranto (Giants)
Foll: Jarrod Witts (Gold Coast), James Worpel (Hawthorn), Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn)
Int: Mitch Duncan (Geelong), Zach Merrett (Essendon), Luke Parker (Sydney Swans), Jordan Dawson (Sydney Swans)
Grant Birchall will be looking to prove that his Round 12 performance wasn’t a one-off, as he is an extremely talented and underrated part of the Brisbane Lions back six. Michael Hurley is one of the most important players for Essendon and will be looking to show why in Round 13. Caleb Daniel is such a consistent performer and will want to prove that in a season-defining game for the Western Bulldogs against the Melbourne Demons.
Brayden Maynard has been a consistent performer for Collingwood, which should continue in Round 13. Jeremy McGovern will be able to create plenty of run out of defence as he is most likely to be matched up on Jeremy Cameron from the Giants, who didn’t perform well in Round 12. Sam Docherty is a quality leader and a pivotal part of Carlton’s back six.
Sam Menegola is be a contender for the All Australian squad and should prove why in Round 13. Marcus Bontempelli will probably need to have a good game if the Western Bulldogs are to beat the Melbourne Demons and to stay in contention for finals in 2020, while Josh Kelly is arguably the Giants’ most important player.
Shaun Higgins is an integral part of the North Melbourne team. Matt Taberner should be able to kick a few goals with the Sydney Swans without Dane Rampe, who is out injured for the rest of the season, curtailing his influence. Jack Billings is a quality player who should prove why in Round 13. Tim Membrey will prove why he is an integral part of the St Kilda team. Ben King will be difficult for Carlton to curtail in Round 13, while Tim Taranto has the ability to hit the scoreboard.
Jarrod Witts should prove that he is possibly the most pivotal part of the Gold Coast team, while James Worpel will want to replicate his Round 12 form as he was outstanding. Tom Mitchell should play a pivotal role against Port Adelaide.
Mitch Duncan is capable of being an elite player of the competition, which he should show in a game that’s likely to be a one-sided win for Geelong against the Adelaide Crows. Zach Merrett should substantiate why he is such a pivotal part of the Essendon team in Round 13 against Richmond.
Luke Parker was possibly the best on ground in Round 12 and should be able to replicate that form in Round 13. Jordan Dawson has the opportunity to prove he is an integral part of the Sydney Swans team.