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The race for the cup starts now.

The strangest season in AFL history is about to get real for the following 10 teams, but only eight of them will play finals football and in turn give themselves a chance to take home the Premiership Cup. AFANA runs the slide rule over where your club can finish after what should be another crazy round of footy. If your team isn’t mentioned below, it’s time to start thinking about next year…

1. Port Adelaide
52 points (13 wins, three losses), 136.4 percent

A dream season for Port Adelaide should see it take out the minor premiership and enjoy the spoils which will include some very important home finals at Adelaide Oval. The only thing standing between Ken Hinkley’s men and the minor premiership is Collingwood at the Gabba in Round 18. With a miniscule injury list, a firing Charlie Dixon and an underrated midfield led by a resurgent Travis Boak, Port are in very good shape indeed.

Best possible finish after Round 18: 1st
Worst possible finish: 2nd

2. Brisbane
52 points (13 wins, three losses), 124.7 per cent

The Lions are in the box seat to win it all with the Grand Final scheduled at their home ground due to Victoria’s COVID-19 issues. This week sees Brisbane take on a struggling Carlton which should give the Lions a sneaky chance to steal the minor premiership from Port if the Power fails to get over Collingwood. The Lion’s biggest concern is whether key back Harris Andrews can return to play and part in their finals campaign. 

Best possible finish: 1st
Worst possible finish: 2nd

3. Richmond
46 points (11 wins, one draw, four losses), 125.8 per cent

The Tigers have enjoyed a good run up in Queensland, culminating in a solid win over arch-rival Geelong in round 17. The win came at great cost however with first choice ruckman Ivan Soldo suffering a season-ending knee injury, while power forward Tom Lynch limped off with a hamstring strain that could see him miss at least the Tiger’s first final. A win over Adelaide in Adelaide is a must for the Tigers to secure an all-important top four finish.

Best possible finish: 3rd
Worst possible finish: 5th

4. Geelong
44 points (11 wins, five losses), 138.9 percent

The Cats have been purring up until round 17 when Richmond completely shut the vaunted Geelong forward line down. A round 18 matchup with Sydney should see Geelong hang on to their top four spot, while big gun Gary Ablett junior will provide a huge finals boost as he returns to the team after addressing some family health issues and completing the ensuing isolation period. 

Best possible finish: 3rd
Worst possible finish: 5th

5. West Coast
44 points (11 wins, five losses), 116 percent

The Eagles pulled off a gutsy win over Saint Kilda in round 17 despite a lengthening injury list which included key defender Jeremy McGovern during the contest with the Saints. 
West Coast has 18th placed Kangaroos in the final round that should prove no issue at all, leaving Adam Simpson’s men poised to snatch a top four spot if Richmond or Geelong should falter at the last hurdle. With multiple first choice players to return in the coming weeks, the 2018 premiership winners can’t be written off in 2020.

Best possible finish: 3rd
Worst possible finish: 5th

6. Collingwood
38 points (nine wins, one draw, six losses), 112.2 per cent

Collingwood welcomed back Jordan DeGoey last night and what a difference the mobile forward made, kicking four goals in the Magpies 22 point win over the Gold Coast Suns. With Adam Treloar also back from injury and Steele Sidebottom  on the way, teams will not be too keen on facing Collingwood in an elimination final. A final round matchup against top team Port Adelaide makes for a tantalising pre-finals tilt.

Best possible finish: 6th
Worst possible finish: 8th

7. St Kilda
36 points (nine wins, seven losses), 111.4 percent

St Kilda blew a golden opportunity to cement a finals berth for the first time since 2011, going down to an undermanned West Coast Eagles on Thursday night. Their final round opponent is the Greater Western Sydney Giants who will be just as determined to finish with a win to keep their slim finals chances alive. The Saints have destiny in their own hands, or else they will rely on other results going their way to make the finals. St Kilda supporters deserve a win.

Best possible finish: 6th
Worst possible finish: Miss the finals

8. Western Bulldogs
36 points (nine wins, seven losses) 103.9 per cent

The Bulldogs are playing some good football when it counts, and really have no excuses when it comes to a finals berth. A win over Fremantle will be enough to secure a spot in the top eight, but the Dockers are no pushover these days. Like Richmond, the Bulldogs lost a high profile player for the season in round 17 as Toby McLean went down with an ACL tear. 

Best possible finish: 6th
Worst possible finish: Miss the finals

9. Melbourne
32 points (eight wins, eight losses), 106.2 per cent

Melbourne are one of the toughest teams to get a guide on, their best being very good but their worst seeing them lose “gimme” games against teams such as an undermanned Sydney Swans. The Demons will take on an injury riddled Essendon in round 18 and should win – but nothing is a given with Simon Goodwin’s boys. Melbourne will also need a bit of help from the Giants (defeating the Saints) or the Dockers (defeating the Bulldogs) to allow them to sneak into a finals berth. 

Best possible finish: 7th
Worst possible finish: Miss the finals

10. Greater Western Sydney
32 points (eight wins, eight losses), 100.6 per cent

The team that supposedly has the most talented list and is coming off a grand final appearance in 2019, somehow finds itself on the outside looking in with one round to play. A big win over Saint Kilda and some favorable results in other games is the only way Leon Cameron’s team can return to the finals for the 5th season in a row.

Best possible finish: 7th
Worst possible finish: Miss the finals

You won’t want to miss what should be a fascinating round of footy, and AFANA has you covered with all of the broadcast times right here!

Article last changed on Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 7:47 PM EDT

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