Mixed news for Bulldogs at AFL selection

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Star pair Marcus Bontempelli and Stefan Martin have been named to play in the Western Bulldogs' AFL preliminary final against Port Adelaide, but key defender Alex Keath will miss the clash through injury.

Keath is out with a hamstring issue while the Dogs have rolled the dice on ruckman Martin as he returns for an important battle with the Power's Scott Lycett at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Martin has played just one game in more than four months because of achilles, shoulder, hip and groin injuries, with his most recent appearance way back in round 12.

His presence will allow Tim English to spend most of his time in attack, with Lewis Young omitted.

Zaine Cordy has been recalled to take Keath's place in defence, while last week's medi-sub Jason Johannisen comes into the 22 for livewire forward Cody Weightman (concussion).

Bulldogs captain Bontempelli was in doubt after hurting his right knee in the final few minutes of the thrilling semi-final win over Brisbane.

The Brownlow Medal fancy was cleared of structural damage and has been on light duties this week, but is set to play in a huge boost to the Dogs' chances of reaching their first grand final since the famous 2016 premiership.

"We're really hopeful that he's going to be okay," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge told SEN on Thursday.

"If he isn't then we're just going to have to, as we have all year, spread the load and fill his role with someone else and believe we can get the job done.

"But he's an amazing player and leader and he'd be a huge loss if he doesn't come up."

Port Adelaide are unchanged from their qualifying final win over Geelong, with small forward Orazio Fantasia given the green light despite re-injuring his knee a fortnight ago.

Emerging forward Mitch Georgiades has been ruled out because of lingering concern over his hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, minor premiers Melbourne have recalled Michael Hibberd as a replacement for injured defender Joel Smith (hamstring) for their preliminary final against Geelong at Optus Stadium on Friday night.

The Demons named former captain Nathan Jones as an emergency and opted against recalling Jayden Hunt after ankle surgery as they attempt to reach their first grand final in 21 years.

Geelong have lost Brandan Parfitt (hamstring) and called last week's medi-sub Zach Guthrie into the 22, with Shaun Higgins and Luke Dahlhaus named among the emergencies.

They have kept faith with Esava Ratugolea, who will form part of a tall forward line alongside star duo Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron, designed to test a Melbourne back-line led by Steven May and Jake Lever.

Cats coach Chris Scott this week laughed off questions around Hawkins' fitness after the leading goal-kicker copped a cork from contact with Giants ruckman Shane Mumford.

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