The run home in the AFL

THE RUN HOME FOR THE AFL’S PREMIERSHIP CONTENDERS AND FINALS HOPEFULS

FREMANTLE

1st, 15 wins and two losses, 60 points, 127.1 per cent

Form: WLWWW

To come: St Kilda (away) West Coast (home) North Melbourne (away) Melbourne (home) Port Adelaide (away)

The round-20 Western Derby, as always, is massive and could be a grand final preview. The Dockers are not firing, but are doing what is needed. West Coast’s draw against Gold Coast gives Fremantle a handy extra half-game buffer.

Prediction: minor premiers

WEST COAST

2nd, 13-3 with one draw, 54, 154.4%

Form: WWWWD

To come: Hawthorn (home) Fremantle (away) Western Bulldogs (home) Adelaide (away) St Kilda (home)

The draw with Gold Coast showed the injured-ravaged Eagles are gettable. The next four matches are huge and will show their premiership credentials. But a home qualifying final is a massive lure and it’s now there for the taking.

Prediction: 2nd

HAWTHORN

3rd, 12-5, 48, 164.2%

Form: WWWWL

To come: West Coast (away) Geelong (MCG) Port Adelaide (home) Brisbane (home) Carlton (home)

Next weekend’s match is probably a qualifying final rehearsal. The loss to Richmond is not the end of the world – indeed, it could be the best possible thing to happen to them. Still the ones to beat for the flag.

Prediction: 3rd

SYDNEY

4th, 12-5, 48, 115.9%

Form: WWLLW

To come: Geelong (away) Collingwood (SCG) GWS (away) St Kilda (away) Gold Coast (SCG)

Until the big win over Adelaide, the Swans had looked the most vulnerable of the top four. How much will the Adam Goodes controversy galvanise the Bloods? How is Franklin’s back? No games against sides above them is a bonus.

Prediction: 4th

WESTERN BULLDOGS

5th, 11-6, 44, 113.1%

Form: WWLWW

To come: Port Adelaide (home) Melbourne (home) West Coast (away) North Melbourne (away) Brisbane (away)

The `Dogs are on the march – or rather, at a sprint. Three big games against Port, the Eagles and North and all are very winnable.

Prediction: 5th or 6th

RICHMOND

6th, 11-6, 44, 112.4%

Form: WWWLW

To come: Adelaide (away) Gold Coast (home) Collingwood (MCG) Essendon (MCG) North Melbourne (Etihad Stadium)

The Tigers proved their bona fides with the upset win over Hawthorn. Now can they keep the momentum going? After big boy month, it’s time to cash in on some solid form.

Prediction: 5th or 6th

NORTH MELBOURNE

7th, 10-7, 40, 107.2%

Form: LWWWW

To come: Melbourne (away) St Kilda (home) Fremantle (home) Western Bulldogs (home) Richmond (away)

The jury is out on the Kangaroos. Fremantle, the Bulldogs and Richmond in successive weeks will deliver the verdict. They can still do some serious damage, but could also plummet out of the eight.

Prediction: 7th or 8th

GEELONG

8th, 9-7, 38 (shared points with Adelaide), 102.4%

Form: LLWWW

To come: Sydney (home) Hawthorn (MCG) St Kilda (away) Collingwood (MCG) Adelaide (home)

The next fortnight is a stern test of the Cats, who are in the top eight for the first time this season. If the Cats can hold their spot, they will have earned it and will be dangerous elimination final opponents.

Prediction: 7th to 9th

ADELAIDE

9th, 9-7, 38 (shared points with Geelong), 102.2%

Form: WLWWL

To come: Richmond (home) Essendon (away) Brisbane (home) West Coast (home) Geelong (away)

The round-23 match against the Cats could well decide the Crows’ top-eight fate – but they need at least one win against Richmond and West Coast. Given the tumultuous events of last month, no-one will be critical if Adelaide come up short.

Prediction: 9th or 10th

GWS

10th, 9-8, 36, 100.3%

Form: LWWLL

To come: Essendon (home) Port Adelaide (away) Sydney (home) Carlton (home) Melbourne (away)

The form is wobbly, the percentage isn’t great and the coach wanting to question the emergency umpire during a game is not encouraging. Their draw is favourable, but the Giants have a lot of work to do.

Prediction: 10th to 12th

COLLINGWOOD

11th, 8-9, 32, 111.3%

Form: LLLLL

To come: Carlton (home) Sydney (away) Richmond (home) Geelong (MCG) Essendon (home)

Six straight losses have condemned the Magpies. The best they can hope for is a strong finish to the season, unless something dramatic happens above them on the ladder. If they can hit form, at least their percentage is solid.

Prediction: 10th to 12th

PORT ADELAIDE

12th, 8-9, 32, 102.9%

Form: LWLWW

To come: Western Bulldogs (away) GWS (away) Hawthorn (away) Gold Coast (away) Fremantle (home)

We keep waiting for the Power engine to fire, but it will need to roar into life for them to make the finals. It’s a solid draw and the task looks too great.

Prediction: 10th to 12th

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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