AFL ladder predictor: What your club needs to do to play finals

It's been the season that felt like it was never going to end in the year that feels like it's never going to end, but finally we're closing in on the finals.

Most of the teams at the pointy end of the ladder have shored up their spots but there could be a fair bit of movement in the bottom half of the eight.

Here's how the eight could take shape in the final round.

1. Port Adelaide

(Played) 16, 52 points, 136.4 per cent

Run home: Collingwood (September 21)

The Power have won nine of their past 11 games and will finish on top of the ladder for the first time since 2004 if they beat the Pies, or if Brisbane lose to Carlton.

2. Brisbane Lions

16, 52 points, 124.7 per cent

Run home: Carlton (September 19)

The coronavirus pandemic has handed Brisbane a dream run, playing most of the season in their home state while living in the comfort of their own homes. They have taken full advantage of that good luck, and have secured second spot. Can finish first if Port lose to the Pies and the Lions beat Carlton.

3. Richmond

16, 46 points, 125.8 per cent

Run home: Adelaide (September 19)

Richmond have endured a chaotic season off the field but as we get closer to finals the Tigers get closer to convincing everyone they can go back-to-back. Wins over West Coast and Geelong in the last three weeks were ominous. Beat Adelaide and they finish third; lose (unthinkable) and they could drop to fifth.

4. Geelong

16, 44 points, 138.9 per cent

Run home: Sydney (September 20)

The loss to Richmond means they will likely finish fourth and not third (unless Richmond lose to Adelaide). The Cats could also drop to fifth if they lose to Sydney and West Coast beat North Melbourne. That would be extraordinary, so it should be a well-deserved fourth spot for Geelong, with Joel Selwood and Gary Ablett still to return.

5. West Coast

16, 44 points, 116 per cent

Run home: North Melbourne (September 17)

Their inconsistency in Queensland looks like costing them a top four spot. They could still finish top four in the unlikely event Geelong or Richmond lose in round 17. They look set to get a home first final but not second week (due to WA's quarantine expectations), but one is better than none. Big names are set to return next week but doubt remains over Jeremy McGovern’s hamstring.

6. St Kilda

16, 36, 111.4 per cent

Run home: GWS (September 18)

GWS will be playing with an outside chance of finals should they win but the Saints should still triumph, and get a fantastic sixth spot finish. If the Saints lose to the Giants by a lot, GWS or Melbourne could sneak into the eight ahead of them, but they would need to make up a lot of percentage.

7. Western Bulldogs

16, 36 points, 103.9 per cent

Run home: Fremantle (September 20)

The Dogs are in good form but were patchy earlier in the season. A return to that inconsistency could spell trouble but they should comfortably beat Fremantle to hold to seventh spot once the season is over. Lose and they could drop out of the eight if Melbourne or GWS win.

8. Collingwood

15, 34 points, 110.1 per cent

Run home: Gold Coast (September 14), Port Adelaide (September 21)

A win over Gold Coast on Monday night will all but secure finals, even if they lose to Port Adelaide. Lose both and they will possibly miss on percentage as Melbourne lurk.

9. Melbourne

16, 32 points, 106.2 per cent

Run home: Essendon (September 19)

Melbourne have been way too patchy this season. To make finals, they must beat Essendon on Saturday and then rely on the Bulldogs losing a game, or the Pies losing two.

10. Greater Western Sydney

16, 32 points, 100.6 per cent

GWS needed to beat Melbourne and also Adelaide the round before. They can make the finals if they beat St Kilda, and if Melbourne lose to Essendon and the Bulldogs lose to Fremantle.

11.Carlton

15, 28 points, 95.6 per cent

The Blues needed to smash Adelaide to have a hope of playing finals. They lost. Ugly end to the year.

Possible finals week one:

Qualifying final: Port Adelaide v Geelong

Qualifying final: Brisbane v Richmond

Elimination final: West Coast v Collingwood

Elimination final: St Kilda v Western Bulldogs

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