AFL 2022: Every club’s run home analysed with final predicted ladder

The race for eighth has never been hotter. Who will get the all-important final spot in the finals? See our ladder predictor to find out.

Every club’s run home and final predicted ladder.
Every club’s run home and final predicted ladder.

There is just eight rounds to go before finals.

While some clubs can’t wait for the season to end, others are excitedly jostling for finals positions.

We’ve again analysed every AFL club’s run home to predict who will finish where and there look like being some blockbuster matches ahead in the first week of September.

1. MELBOURNE (11-3, 139.2%)

TAB ODDS: Premiers $2.80, Top 8 $1.01, Top 4 $1.20

R16: Adelaide (AO) W

R17: Geelong (GMHBA) L

R18: Port Adelaide (TIO) W

R19: Western Bulldogs (Marvel) W

R20: Fremantle (Optus) L

R21: Collingwood (MCG) W

R22: Carlton (MCG) W

R23: Brisbane (Gabba) W

Predicted finish: 2nd

The Demons reaffirmed their back-to-back premiership credentials and took back top spot on the ladder with a powerful 64-point win over Brisbane last Thursday night. The hunger and pressure was back around the ball and Steven May’s return helped stiffen up the defence. Melbourne still faces five current top-eight opponents in the final eight rounds. However, things are looking up after the mid-season form slump which saw the Demons lose three games in a row.

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Bayley Fritsch and the Demons got back on the winners’ board last weekend. Picture: Michael Klein
Bayley Fritsch and the Demons got back on the winners’ board last weekend. Picture: Michael Klein

2. GEELONG (10-4, 125.6%)

TAB ODDS: Premiers $6.50, Top 8 $1.01, Top 4 $1.25

R16: North Melbourne (GMHBA) W

R17: Melbourne (GMHBA) W

R18: Carlton (MCG) W

R19: Port Adelaide (AO) W

R20: Western Bulldogs (GMHBA) W

R21: St Kilda (GMHBA) W

R22: Gold Coast (Metricon) W

R23: West Coast (GMHBA) W

Predicted finish: 1st

The Cats took the chocolates in a seesawing match against Richmond on Saturday that felt like a final. But it wasn’t all good news, with star defender Tom Stewart being rubbed out for four games for his bump on Dion Prestia. With only eight matches to go, Geelong has five games left on its home turf at GMHBA Stadium, where it has won three of four matches so far this year. That is a big leg up, with a second minor premiership in four years in the Cats’ sights.

Geelong will be without Tom Stewart for a month. Picture: Alan Barber
Geelong will be without Tom Stewart for a month. Picture: Alan Barber

3. BRISBANE (10-4, 124.9%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $8, Top 8 $1.05, Top 4 $1.65

R16: Western Bulldogs (Gabba) W

R17: Essendon (Gabba) W

R18: GWS (Manuka) W

R19: Gold Coast (Gabba) W

R20: Richmond (MCG) W

R21: Carlton (Gabba) W

R22: St Kilda (Marvel) W

R23: Melbourne (Gabba) L

Predicted finish: 3rd

The Lions’ premiership credentials took a hit when they were clearly outclassed by Melbourne last Thursday night, suffering a 64-point loss at the MCG. The two teams meet again in Round 23 and it will be interesting to see what – if anything – Brisbane does differently then. The good news is the Lions still have five games to come at the Gabba, where they have gone 6-0 this season. They face only two current top-eight opponents in the run home, but do also face teams just outside who are fighting for finals in the Western Bulldogs, Richmond and St Kilda. A fourth-straight top-four finish looms.

Brisbane’s premiership credentials took a hit with last week’s loss to Melbourne, but a top-four finish is still all but certain. Picture: Michael Klein
Brisbane’s premiership credentials took a hit with last week’s loss to Melbourne, but a top-four finish is still all but certain. Picture: Michael Klein

4. FREMANTLE (10-4, 122.6%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $11, Top 8 $1.08, Top 4 $1.80

R16: Port Adelaide (Optus) W

R17: St Kilda (Marvel) W

R18: Sydney (Optus) W

R19: Richmond (Marvel) L

R20: Melbourne (Optus) W

R21: Western Bulldogs (Marvel) W

R22: West Coast (Optus) W

R23: GWS (Manuka) W

Predicted finish: 4th

The Dockers’ midfield has been a strength this year but was outgunned by Carlton in a 31-point loss last Saturday. Fremantle managed only seven goals in that game, but didn’t exactly give their forwards many opportunities. They face only two current top-eight sides in the final eight weeks, but there are a few opponents just outside that won’t be easy to knock over, starting with a resurgent Port Adelaide this week. The clash with Sydney in Round 18 looks like being an eight-point game as far as top-four hopes for both sides are concerned.

5. CARLTON (10-4, 114.6%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $13, Top 8 $1.20, Top 4 $2.50

R16: St Kilda (Marvel) W

R17: West Coast (Optus) W

R18: Geelong (MCG) L

R19: GWS (Marvel) W

R20: Adelaide (AO) W

R21: Brisbane (Gabba) L

R22: Melbourne (MCG) L

R23: Collingwood (MCG) W

Predicted finish: 7th

Given their injury woes, the Blues have done incredibly well to get to this point of the season sitting in the position they are. Their midfield was on fire against Fremantle last Saturday, driving the side to a 31-point win. There is some relief coming on the injury front over the next two or three weeks, with Adam Cerra, Jacob Weitering and Marc Pittonet all closing in on returns. However, the Blues still face three teams above them in a tricky run home. A top-four finish would take something very special.

Charlie Curnow’s Carlton side scored upset Fremantle last weekend, but might still struggle to finish top-four. Picture: Michael Klein
Charlie Curnow’s Carlton side scored upset Fremantle last weekend, but might still struggle to finish top-four. Picture: Michael Klein

6. SYDNEY (9-5, 119.5%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $14, Top 8 $1.15, Top 4 $2.25

R16: Essendon (MCG) W

R17: Western Bulldogs (SCG) W

R18: Fremantle (Optus) L

R19: Adelaide (SCG) W

R20: GWS (SCG) W

R21: North Melbourne (Marvel) W

R22: Collingwood (SCG) W

R23: St Kilda (Marvel) W

Predicted finish: 5th

The Swans have been up and down like a yoyo over the past eight weeks, going 4-4 over that period. However, they bounced back from an upset loss to Port Adelaide to put St Kilda to the sword by 51 points at the SCG last Saturday night in a powerful showing. Sydney won seven of its last eight to finish the home and away season last year and isn’t without a chance to do that again if they can find some consistency. They only face two more current top-eight opponents in Fremantle and Collingwood. If they can pinch a win over Fremantle in Round 18, they would be right in the mix for a top-four spot.

7. COLLINGWOOD (9-5, 106%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $17, Top 8 $1.75, Top 4 $9

R16: Gold Coast (Metricon) L

R17: North Melbourne (MCG) W

R18: Adelaide (AO) W

R19: Essendon (MCG) W

R20: Port Adelaide (MCG) W

R21: Melbourne (MCG) L

R22: Sydney (SCG) L

R23: Carlton (MCG) L

Predicted finish: 8th

The Magpies still have some work to do to feature in September, but they ticked another box with an 11-point win over GWS last Sunday. They are one game clear inside the top-eight and have a good chance to firm up their spot given their next five games are against teams in the bottom eight on the ladder. Four more wins should get the job done to secure a return to finals. Any more on top of that would be a bonus.

Collingwood was able to hold off GWS to firm up its top-eight spot last weekend. Picture: Michael Klein
Collingwood was able to hold off GWS to firm up its top-eight spot last weekend. Picture: Michael Klein

8. WESTERN BULLDOGS (8-6, 120.9%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $21, Top 8 $2.20, Top 4 $12

R16: Brisbane (Gabba) L

R17: Sydney (SCG) L

R18: St Kilda (Marvel) W

R19: Melbourne (Marvel) L

R20: Geelong (GMHBA) L

R21: Fremantle (Marvel) L

R22: GWS (Marvel) W

R23: Hawthorn (UTAS) W

Predicted finish: 10th

Last year’s grand finalists have put themselves back in the finals hunt, winning five of their past six matches including a 42-point triumph over Hawthorn last Friday night. But the real challenges start now. The Bulldogs have a 2-3 record against fellow current top-eight sides this year and face five top-eight teams in the next six weeks, plus a St Kilda side which is fighting to return to the top-eight after a mid-season form slump. It’s hard to see them winning five of their last eight games to make the finals cut given the quality opposition they face.

9. RICHMOND (8-6, 116.2%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $11, Top 8 $1.25, Top 4 $3.25

R16: West Coast (MCG) W

R17: Gold Coast (Metricon) W

R18: North Melbourne (Marvel) W

R19: Fremantle (Marvel) W

R20: Brisbane (MCG) L

R21: Port Adelaide (AO) W

R22: Hawthorn (MCG) W

R23: Essendon (MCG) W

Predicted finish: 6th

The Tigers might have lost to Geelong by three points last Saturday, but they didn’t lose any admirers. They fought back from a 35-point deficit to take a 17-point lead in the last quarter, only to be pipped at the post in the dying minutes. The loss to the Cats saw Richmond slip from sixth on the ladder to ninth and looks like costing it any chance of a top-four spot. However, with only two current top-eight opponents left to play and just two more interstate trips to come, the Tigers look capable of building a head of steam. Could we have a Richmond v Carlton elimination final at the MCG in the first week of September? What a blockbuster that would be.

Richmond showed plenty of character in its Round 15 loss to Geelong. Picture: Michael Klein
Richmond showed plenty of character in its Round 15 loss to Geelong. Picture: Michael Klein

10. ST KILDA (8-6, 107.3%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $51, Top 8 $2.80, Top 4 $16

R16: Carlton (Marvel) L

R17: Fremantle (Marvel) L

R18: Western Bulldogs (Marvel) L

R19: West Coast (Optus) L

R20: Hawthorn (Marvel) W

R21: Geelong (GMHBA) L

R22: Brisbane (Marvel) L

R23: Sydney (Marvel) L

Predicted finish: 12th

Did the Saints overachieve in the first half of the season to be 8-3 at the bye? They have since lost three-straight matches, including a 51-point defeat in a horror show against Sydney last Saturday night. And the going does not get much easier, with five current top-eight opponents left to play in the final eight rounds. If St Kilda does not show some fight and pinch a win against Carlton or Fremantle over the next fortnight, you can put a line through its season. St Kilda hasn’t beaten West Coast in Perth since 2010 and might run into the Eagles at the wrong time in Round 19.

St Kilda is on a three-game slide. Picture: Brendon Thorne/AFL/Getty
St Kilda is on a three-game slide. Picture: Brendon Thorne/AFL/Getty

11. GOLD COAST (7-7, 110.5%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $81, Top 8 $2.90, Top 4 $21

R16: Collingwood (Metricon) W

R17: Richmond (Metricon) L

R18: Essendon (Marvel) W

R19: Brisbane (Gabba) L

R20: West Coast (Metricon) W

R21: Hawthorn (UTAS) W

R22: Geelong (Metricon) L

R23: North Melbourne (Marvel) W

Predicted finish: 9th

The Suns’ finals hopes took a serious hit with Sunday’s narrow three-point loss to Port Adelaide, which leaves Stuart Dew’s side needing six wins from its last eight matches to scrape into September. With three current top-eight opponents – plus Richmond – to come, that won’t be happening. Five more wins would still get them to 12, making for their best season on record. But it is likely to take 13 wins to play finals this year, meaning Gold Coast will have to wait until at least its 13th season in 2023 to make its first finals appearance.

Gold Coast’s loss to Port Adelaide last Sunday put a big dent in its finals hopes. Picture: Getty Images
Gold Coast’s loss to Port Adelaide last Sunday put a big dent in its finals hopes. Picture: Getty Images

12. PORT ADELAIDE (7-7, 105.1%)

TAB ODDS: Premier $51, Top 8 $5, Top 4 $26

R16: Fremantle (Optus) L

R17: GWS (AO) W

R18: Melbourne (TIO) L

R19: Geelong (AO) L

R20: Collingwood (MCG) L

R21: Richmond (AO) L

R22: Essendon (Marvel) W

R23: Adelaide (AO) W

Predicted finish: 11th

The Power have now won seven of their past nine games after a 0-5 start to the season, which has been a great fightback. They pose a dangerous outfit over the next two months, but look like they have left themselves with too much to do to feature in finals. There are still five teams in the top half of the ladder to come in a tough run home.

13. ADELAIDE (5-9, 85.5%)

R16: Melbourne (AO) L

R17: Hawthorn (Marvel) L

R18: Collingwood (AO) L

R19: Sydney (SCG) L

R20: Carlton (AO) L

R21: West Coast (Optus) L

R22: North Melbourne (AO) W

R23: Port Adelaide (AO) L

Predicted finish: 15th

The Crows did what they needed to do against North Melbourne in Tasmania on Sunday, burying the battling Roos by 57 points. However, it isn’t an easy final eight weeks ahead, outside of a double-up match against North Melbourne in Round 22. Adelaide would be eyeing at least another two wins to equal last year’s tally of seven wins, along with some further development from their young list. But it’s hard to pencil in a second win just yet.

Adelaide looks certain to score at least one more win against a North Melbourne side they buried last weekend. Picture: Getty Images
Adelaide looks certain to score at least one more win against a North Melbourne side they buried last weekend. Picture: Getty Images

14. GWS (4-10, 90.9%)

R16: Hawthorn (GIANTS) W

R17: Port Adelaide (AO) L

R18: Brisbane (Manuka) L

R19: Carlton (Marvel) L

R20: Sydney (SCG) L

R21: Essendon (GIANTS) W

R22: Western Bulldogs (Marvel) L

R23: Fremantle (Manuka) L

Predicted finish: 14th

The Giants have put up some brave fights in recent weeks, but haven’t been able to taste success. They fell 11 points short of Collingwood on Sunday in what was a fifth loss in seven games. Some tough matches still await, including four top-eight opponents. However, it’s all about the future now for the Giants.

15. HAWTHORN (4-10, 85.6%)

R16: GWS (GIANTS) L

R17: Adelaide (Marvel) W

R18: West Coast (MCG) W

R19: North Melbourne (Blundstone) W

R20: St Kilda (Marvel) L

R21: Gold Coast (UTAS) L

R22: Richmond (MCG) L

R23: Western Bulldogs (UTAS) L

Predicted finish: 13th

After a promising start to the season under new coach Sam Mitchell, the Hawks have now lost four straight matches and eight of their past nine games overall. They also started strongly against the Western Bulldogs last Friday night, before a lopsided second half which saw the Bulldogs power to a 42-point victory. When the Hawks are on, they look great. But sustaining their best across four quarters is the problem. Mitchell will no doubt be looking to make some tweaks as he builds towards 2023.

Hawthorn has dropped off the pace after a strong start to the year under new coach Sam Mitchell. Picture: Michael Klein
Hawthorn has dropped off the pace after a strong start to the year under new coach Sam Mitchell. Picture: Michael Klein

16. ESSENDON (3-11, 78.6%)

R16: Sydney (MCG) L

R17: Brisbane (Gabba) L

R18: Gold Coast (Marvel) L

R19: Collingwood (MCG) L

R20: North Melbourne (Marvel) W

R21: GWS (GIANTS) L

R22: Port Adelaide (Marvel) L

R23: Richmond (MCG) L

Predicted finish: 16th

Just when the Bombers looked like they had found something with an upset 35-point win over St Kilda in Round 14, they fell flat again in a 10-point loss to West Coast last Friday night. It was just the Eagles’ second win of what has been a historically bad season for the club. It’s been an ugly year for Essendon, which has been labelled ‘irrelevant’ this week. And it looks like getting uglier, with three top-eight sides to come plus Port Adelaide and Richmond. The good news is a top-three draft pick awaits, Bombers fans.

17. WEST COAST (2-12, 55.8%)

R16: Richmond (MCG) L

R17: Carlton (Optus) L

R18: Hawthorn (MCG) L

R19: St Kilda (Optus) W

R20: Gold Coast (Metricon) L

R21: Adelaide (Optus) W

R22: Fremantle (Optus) L

R23: Geelong (GMHBA) L

Predicted finish: 17th

Things are looking up a little for the Eagles, with a competitive showing against Geelong in Round 14 being backed up by a 10-point win over Essendon last Friday night. That win over the Bombers lifted West Coast off the bottom of the ladder, with the club now likely to avoid what would have been its first wooden spoon since 2010. There are still four road trips to the eastern states ahead in a far from easy run home. However, on current form West Coast could shake up the top-eight a little. An upset or two in the final eight rounds would not shock.

West Coast finally had something to celebrate with a rare win over Essendon last weekend and could cause another upset or two in the run home. Picture: Getty Images
West Coast finally had something to celebrate with a rare win over Essendon last weekend and could cause another upset or two in the run home. Picture: Getty Images

18. NORTH MELBOURNE (1-13, 52.2%)

R16: Geelong (GMHBA) L

R17: Collingwood (MCG) L

R18: Richmond (Marvel) L

R19: Hawthorn (Blundstone) L

R20: Essendon (Marvel) L

R21: Sydney (Marvel) L

R22: Adelaide (AO) L

R23: Gold Coast (Marvel) L

Predicted finish: 18th

The end of the season can’t come quickly enough for North Melbourne and its fans. Last Sunday’s 57-point loss to Adelaide was the Kangaroos’ 11th defeat this season by 47 points or more and 12th loss on the trot overall. By comparison, North Melbourne only lost five games by 47 points or more last year in a four-win season. It’s hard to see where another win comes from. This has been a long and painful rebuild that has not shown many signs of improvement this year. Another No. 1 draft pick looks headed to Arden St at season’s end.

Originally published as AFL 2022: Every club’s run home analysed with final predicted ladder

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