Forward Charlie Dixon looks likely to return against the Blues. Image: AFL Photos.

PORT ADELAIDE will be forced into at least one change for Thursday night’s massive clash with Carlton, with Willie Rioli to miss the game through injury.

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

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

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

Pick 48 in last year’s draft, Anastasopoulos’s speed and poise going forward and willingness to defend from the front, has made him a stand-out in six SANFL games so far this season. He has averaged 11 disposals and four tackles per game.

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

Francis Evans was among the better SANFL performers on a disappointing day at Noarlunga on Saturday. He had 21 disposals and a goal, but also took seven marks, had five clearances and six inside 50s as the Magpies went down to the Panthers at Flinders University Oval.

Tom Clurey also continued his strong SANFL form with 21 touches of his own. He also took 10 marks and laid four tackles.

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

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

First bounce at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night is 7:00pm ACST.