MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 08: Steele Sidebottom of the Magpies celebrates a goal during the 2018 AFL round 16 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 08, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

The last seven rounds of the 2018 AFL season promise to be enthralling, as there are realistically ten teams battling for a finals spot and the top four and coveted top spot two spots are also wide open which makes things very exciting.

I have looked at the run home for all the ten teams in contention and decided who I think will finish in the top eight in order.

It is an incredibly even season and the final ladder positions for the contenders could be completely different to what it is currently.

I’ll start from the top of the ladder with last year’s premiers, Richmond.

RICHMOND (1st, 12-3)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (1st, 19-3)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

Giants – Spotless Stadium

St Kilda – Etihad Stadium

Collingwood – MCG

Geelong – MCG

Gold Coast – Metricon Stadium

Essendon – MCG

Western Bulldogs – MCG

Last year’s premiers have a good run home with only two games interstate and one of those games being against lowly Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium. I am tipping the Tigers to finish as the minor premier this year.

COLLINGWOOD (2nd,11-4)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (3rd, 16-6)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

West Coast – MCG

North Melbourne – MCG

Richmond – MCG

Swans– SCG

Brisbane – Etihad Stadium

Port – MCG

Fremantle – Perth Stadium

The Pies have a good run home and the huge game comes in round 22 when they take on the Power at the MCG who are battling for 2nd spot, I am predicting them to win five of their last seven which would see them finish in 3rd position on the ladder.

WEST COAST (3rd, 11-4)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (4th, 15-7)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

Collingwood – MCG

Western Bulldogs – Perth Stadium

North Melbourne – Blundstone Arena

Fremantle – Perth Stadium

Port Adelaide – Adelaide Oval

Melbourne – Perth Stadium

Brisbane – Gabba

The Eagles have a reasonable run, although they do take on top four contenders Port Adelaide and Collingwood, while also facing off with the Roos who are battling for a spot in the finals. I am tipping they will end up finishing in 4th spot on the ladder.

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PORT ADELAIDE (4th,11-4)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (2nd, 17-5)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

Fremantle – Perth Stadium

GWS – Adelaide Oval

Western Bulldogs – Mars Stadium, Ballarat

Adelaide – Adelaide Oval

Eagles – Adelaide Oval

Collingwood – MCG

Essendon – Adelaide Oval

The Power have won five in a row and are playing some good footy, they could potentially win all their next seven games, but I am tipping they may drop one game and potentially the Showdown. The Crows are starting to get players back and will be looking for payback from last time.

SYDNEY (5th, 10-5)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (6th, 14-8)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

North Melbourne – Etihad Stadium

Gold Coast – SCG

Essendon – Etihad Stadium

Collingwood – SCG

Melbourne – MCG

GWS – Spotless Stadium

Hawthorn – SCG

The Swans have a mixed bag on the run home, they have a few tough games against top eight contenders and a couple of games against sides below them on the ladder. It could come down to them and Geelong for who finishes 5th or 6th but as the Cats have a better percentage and an easier run home I am tipping the Swans to finish in 6th on the ladder.

MELBOURNE (6th, 9-6)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (8th, 13-9)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

Western Bulldogs – MCG

Geelong – GMHBA

Adelaide – Adelaide Oval

Gold Coast – MCG

Sydney – MCG

West Coast – Perth Stadium

GWS – MCG

The Dees have shown that their best footy is good enough this year, however they have struggled against the best teams. I am still predicting them to make the finals this year and that they will finish in 8th spot on the ladder.

GEELONG (7th, 9-7)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (5th, 14-8)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

Melbourne – GMHBA

Brisbane – GMHBA

Richmond – MCG

Hawthorn – MCG

Fremantle – GMHBA

Gold Coast – GMHBA

The Cats have four of their last seven game at their fortress, GMHBA Stadium and they play three of the lower ranked sides and only three sides that are currently in the top eight. They could potentially finish equal on points with Sydney, however with their strong percentage, I am tipping the Cats to finish above Sydney and into 5th on the ladder.

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HAWTHORN (8th, 9-6)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (7th, 14-8)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

Brisbane – University of Tasmania Stadium

Carlton – Etihad Stadium

Fremantle – Perth Stadium

Essendon – MCG

Geelong – MCG

St Kilda – Etihad Stadium

Sydney – SCG

The Hawks have one of the best runs home out of all the contenders and only two of their last seven games are against sides currently in the top eight. I am predicting them to finish in 7th place, ahead of Melbourne. Due to their percentage being inferior to Geelong and Sydney I am not sure they can finish any higher than that unless they cause a couple of upsets.

NORTH MELBOURNE (9th, 9-6)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (9th, 13-9)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

Sydney – Etihad Stadium

Collingwood – MCG

West Coast – Blundstone Arena

Brisbane – Gabba

Western Bulldogs – Etihad Stadium

Adelaide – Adelaide Oval

St Kilda – Etihad Stadium

The Roos have been one of the surprise packets this year and are equal on points with 6th placed Melbourne but remain in 9th due to a poor percentage. If they can have some big wins they could sneak into the eight, however I think they might miss out as Melbourne and the Hawks have a good run home and better percentage.

GWS (10th, 8,6, 1)

PREDICTED FINISH ON THE LADDER: (10th, 12,9, 1)

UPCOMING GAMES AND VENUE

Richmond – Spotless Stadium

Port Adelaide – Adelaide Oval

St Kilda – Spotless Stadium

Carlton – Etihad Stadium

Adelaide – Manuka Oval

Sydney – Spotless Stadium

Melbourne – MCG

The Giants may come to rue the draw they had with St Kilda earlier on in the year as it could potentially cost them a spot in the finals. They have had a tough year with injuries to key players, and the five-game suspension to Jeremy Cameron didn’t help the situation at all. With four games against top eight sides things don’t get any easier and I am predicted the Giants to miss this year’s finals.