MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 28: Nick Riewoldt of the Saints is congratulated by Leigh Montagna and Josh Bruce of the Saints after kicking a goal during the round 23 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

With the 2017 season just over a month away, here are our predictions for what lies ahead in the AFL this year.

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1. The Saints will go marching into September

The Saints showed glimpses of what a brilliant side they can be in 2016, beating Geelong and going down to the Hawks by just three points in Tasmania.

Twelve months on, a more mature and experienced side will rocket into the top eight and could even cause some boil overs in September.

Adding to their up and coming talented midfield is the addition of defenders Nathan Brown and Jake Carlisle, who will both be hugely valuable additions to the side.

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