With the AFL home and away season ever so tight, just five rounds out from the finals series, this weekend of footy will be make or break for some teams.
As the current ladder sits, 10 teams are still fighting for a place in the top eight. The top five: Richmond, West Coast, Collingwood, Sydney and Port Adelaide would all be confident that their finals campaigns are secured however, the top four is yet to be solidified.
With Richmond and West Coast a game clear from Collingwood sitting in third, their hopes of a top four finish would be guaranteed. And with the most anticipated match of the season between the Tigers and the Magpies this Saturday, we could see Richmond extend their lead and boost their percentage or see Collingwood be the first to break their rival’s winning streak at the MCG this season. Many suspect this will be a preview of the grand final with 90,000 plus packed into the ‘G.
Unexpected upsets have thrown in plot twists to this 2018 season and round 19 has the potential to produce a couple more. The Brisbane Lions are coming off some good form defeating the Hawks and coming close to snatching the four points off Adelaide. They could be the ones to give the Cats and their dynamic trio of Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield a run for their money.
ZACH TUOHY KICKS THE MATCH WINNER AFTER THE SIREN! #ohwhatafeeling
Posted by AFL on Saturday, 21 July 2018
Melbourne also need a desperate win against the 12th placed Crows to prevent their season from slipping away. We remember the heart breaking end to their season in 2017, narrowly missing the top eight on percentage. It would be gut-wrenching to see captain Nathan Jones and his Demons miss out on another chance to play their first finals series in 12 years.
Essendon are only sitting outside of the top 10 contenders by one match, but have produced some good performances in the last couple weeks. Could they capitalise on Sydney’s shock loss to the Gold Coast Suns?
The Suns celebrate victory during the round 18 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Gold Coast Suns at Sydney…
If Fremantle takes advantage of their home ground fortress, they could give Hawthorn’s final chances a knock.
North Melbourne will need to wake up after their demolition by the Pies last week and make the most of a Nic Naitanui-less West Coast, otherwise their finals hopes will be over.
At the other end of the spectrum, we’ll see a battle of the wooden spooners. The Suns would hope to create some momentum after their win over the Swans but it would be refreshing to see the Blues show some fight and skilful footy and create an edge-of-your-seat contest.
If round 19 is as gripping as we’ve seen in the last few weeks, come next Monday the top eight could look very different.