MELBOURNE, VICTORIA - MARCH 28: Zac Smith of the Cats is congratulated by Patrick Dangerfield and his teammates after kicking a goal during the round one AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 28, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

End of season top eight predictions

1. Geelong 19-3

Now sitting in second and with a far easier draw coming home than the first placed Kangaroos, I’m tipping Chris Scott’s men to outlast his brother’s Kangas and finish in top spot.

Remaining games:

  • Western Bulldogs (ES) – W
  • St Kilda (ES) – W
  • Sydney (SS) – W
  • Fremantle (DS) – W
  • Adelaide (SS) – W
  • Western Bulldogs (SS) – W
  • Essendon (ES) – W
  • Richmond (MCG) -W
  • Brisbane (G) – W
  • Melbourne (SS) – W

2. GWS 18-4

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It seems that almost the entire AFL tunes in to watch Greater Western Sydney play on the weekend, just to gasp and wonder at how high they may finish. It seems almost certain they will make the finals now, and with a decent run home, I’m picking them to finish in the top four.

Remaining games:

  • Essendon (ES) – W
  • Carlton (SPO) – W
  • Collingwood (SPO) – W
  • Brisbane (Gabba) – W
  • Port Adelaide (AO) – W
  • Richmond (MO) – W
  • Gold Coast (MS) – W
  • West Coast (SPO) – W
  • Freamntle (SPO) – W
  • North Melbourne (ES) – W

3. Sydney 18-4

A loss on the weekend to little (big?) brothers the Greater Western Sydney Giants will do little to stop the Swans from finishing in the top four.

  • Melbourne (SCG) – W
  • Western Bulldogs (SCG) – W
  • Geelong (SS) – L
  • Hawthorn (SCG) – W
  • Carlton (SCG) – W
  • Fremantle (DS) – W
  • Port Adelaide (SCG) – W
  • St Kilda (ES) – W
  • North Melbourne (BA) – W
  • Richmond (SCG) – W

4. Hawthorn 17-5

It’s hard to say a team that is currently 9-3 does “not look themselves” this year, but that is the case for the three-time reigning premiers the Hawthorn Hawks. I don’t have them winning it this year, but there’s no reason at all they can’t make another big run at it.

Remaining games:

  • North Melbourne (ES) – W
  • Gold Coast (AS) – W
  • Port Adelaide (AO) – W
  • Sydney (SCG) – L
  • Richmond (MCG) – W
  • Carlton (MCG) – W
  • Melbourne (MCG) – W
  • North Melbourne (MCG) – W
  • West Coast (DS) – L
  • Collingwood (MCG) – W

5. West Coast 16-6

The West Coat Eagles currently sit in eighth, so it’s hard to imagine they would finish just outside the top four by the end of the year, but with a friendly run home, buoyed by an upset or two, I’m backing the Eagles to get close to a top four finish.

Remaining games:

  • Brisbane (Gabba) – W
  • Essendon (DS) – W
  • North Melbourne (DS) – W
  • Carlton (MCG) – W
  • Melbourne (DS) – W
  • Collingwood (MCG) – W
  • Fremantle (DS) – W
  • GWS (SPO) – L
  • Hawthorn (DS) – W
  • Adelaide (AO) – W

6. Adelaide 16-6

All losses considered, both on and off the field, the Adelaide Crows have been mightily impressive this year under new coach Don Pyke. They seem to find a new level at home as opposed to away, and I think that keeps them from rising any higher.

Remaining games:

  • North Melbourne (AO) – W
  • Melbourne (MCG) – W
  • Carlton (MCG) – W
  • Collingwood (AO) – W
  • Geelong (SS) – L
  • Essendon (AO) – W
  • Brisbane (AO) – W
  • Fremantle (DS) – W
  • Port Adelaide (AO) – W
  • West Coast (AO) – L

7. Western Bulldogs 16-6

Apart from North Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs arguably have the hardest run home of all top eight teams. This may not be their year, but they have certainly signaled their intentions for the future.

Remaining games:

  • Geelong (ES) – L
  • Sydney (SCG) – L
  • Richmond (ES) – W
  • Gold Coast (CS) – W
  • St Kilda (ES) – W
  • Geelong (SS) – L
  • North Melbourne (ES) – W
  • Collingwood (ES) – W
  • Essendon (ES) – W
  • Fremantle (DS) – W

8. North Melbourne 13-9

Looking at where North Melbourne sit currently and where I’ve predicted them to finish, there is only one thing that is certain – we are about to find out what these Kangaroos are made of. They are in great form, but have a ridiculous run home – they could literally finish anywhere.

Remaining games:

  • Hawthorn (ES) – L
  • Adelaide (AO) – L
  • West Coast (DS) -L
  • Port Adelaide (ES) – W
  • Collingwood (ES) – W
  • St Kilda (ES) – W
  • Western Bulldogs (ES) – L
  • Hawthorn (MCG) – L
  • Sydney (BA) – L
  • GWS (ES) – L

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