We’re past the half-way mark of the AFL season and the ladder is taking a more distinct shape during the bye rounds. Every side remains a chance to play in September, with Stats Insider providing a mathematical reading for your club’s run home.
Adelaide – 80.4%
The Crows will admit they have dropped points to sides below their calibre, but with eight wins from their opening 13 matches, the club will be content with sitting fifth after the byes.
Adelaide will face just three clubs (Geelong, West Coast and Collingwood) that sit within the top eight in their nine remaining matches, with injuries their most likely enemy to halt their finals campaign, as the club looks to return to football in September.
Brisbane – 78.9%
A shock loss to Carlton has marred what was a strong start to the Lions’ 2019 campaign, bouncing back with a big win over St Kilda on the weekend. The club will be looking for its first finals birth in a decade, and the clubs run home might just get them there.
With only two games against sides sitting above them to run out the year, including three games straight at the Gabba before a last-round clash against Richmond, the Lions are certainly prized for a top-eight finish.
Carlton – <1%
It is mathematically possible. Just.
For the Blues to pull off what would be a miracle finals birth, David Teague would need just about everything to go his way. An undefeated run home and a number of matches to fall in their favour and they get there. Don’t have too much faith in the theory though, Blues fans.
Collingwood – 98.7%
Collingwood has punished sides outside of the top six with a 9-0 record, but are yet to win against this year’s best. The Pies are destined for another year in September, and with only four games remaining against current top-eight placed sides, the question might just be a matter of where in the top-eight they finish.
The Pies won’t face top-placed Geelong again, having to rely on the Cats to stumble at the top for them to collect the minor premiership. For Collingwood however, clashes against the Eagles, Giants, Tigers and Crows are their biggest fixtures to decide where they finish.
Essendon – 27.3%
The Bombers face a tough run home with five of their remaining nine games against sides currently sitting above them. Upsets are not beneath the Bombers, however, a round 23 clash against Collingwood will be a tough last hurdle for their finals race.
If the Bombers can overcome their travelling woes and pick up eight points from their three remaining interstate trips (Adelaide, Gold Coast and Fremantle), they’ll be nicely set for a finals campaign.
Fremantle – 56.4%
The Dockers play just two sides currently in the top eight to end their season, a round 16 derby against the Eagles and the Cats at Optus Stadium a month later. A promising run (with some help from Michael Walters) between rounds 10-14 see the Dockers sitting eighth, with injuries seemingly costing them on the weekend against the Dees. Their percentage of 108.2 is a cushion supporting their potential fall out of the eight.
Geelong – 99%>
It’s going to be tough to chase down the Cats for top spot let alone Chris Scott’s men to drop out of the eight. Despite a minor slip up against Port on the weekend, Geelong remains a win and some healthy percentage clear on top, hitting the 12-win benchmark after round 13.
Adding to the Cats’ soaring season so far, they have arguably the easiest remaining fixtures out of the top sides, with the Crows at GMHBA and a trip to Fremantle their only top-eight headaches left to overcome.
Gold Coast – <1%
A one-point loss to St Kilda is the opening round of the year was all that separated the Suns from a perfect start from their first four games. The club has endured a nine-game losing streak since and have fallen to be within a one-game reaching distance of the wooden spoon.
To add on to the Suns’ 2019 woes, they face an up hill battle to finish off their campaign, with top eight sides Tigers, Crows, Pies, Lions and Giants all featuring in their run home. Their finals push isn’t over, but it may as well be, with a round 18 clash against the Blues their most anticipated fixture for avoiding a last placed finish.
Greater Western Sydney – 97.5%
The Giants are sitting pretty in third place, but have a strong argument for being the second best side in the competition. Their round eight loss to the Hawks is the stumble in their season they’d like to have back, but remaining as the only side to beat Geelong so far is a title they’re happy to hold.
As for the run home, the Giants face three sides in the top eight and Port Adelaide away before an easier finish after round 20.
Hawthorn – 6.8%
Failure to defeat sides positioned around them on the ladder will likely be the Hawks’ downfall. The scalps of The Crows, Giants and Port Adelaide had given Alistair Clarkson’s side a glimmer of finals hope, but the weekend’s loss to Sydney would now make things extremely tough.
The Hawks have seven games remaining against top eight sides in 2019, including the Eagles twice. They remain behind in the race for a finals spot having already played out their easier half of the season, with a big turnaround needed to feature in September.
Melbourne – 2.9%
A horror 0-6 run to start the season seems to have doomed the Demons finals hopes already. The club has looked to claw back into contention but faces a tough draw as a product of finishing within the top five last season.
Sitting 16th after their bye round certainly reflects their season, add a growing injury list into the mix and it’s almost season over for the Dees. With the Bulldogs, Saints, Swans and Kangaroos all remaining on their run home, the Demons have a chance to overtake fellow battling sides looking for a top-eight finish.
North Melbourne – 7.0%
Releasing Brad Scott from his coaching duties seemed to be North Melbourne’s signal to wave the white flag on their finals hopes. A caretaker coach and building injury list have collided with the Kangaroos’ mid-season run, but their off-field woes have failed to deeply affect results.
Put aside their fixtures against Collingwood, West Coast and Geelong and the remaining six matches are very beatable for the Kangaroos. It’s a tough road to go down for North Melbourne, as a number of upsets will be needed for even a sniff at September.
Port Adelaide – 64.4%
The fate of Port Adelaide’s finals chances will likely be decided by the end of round 19. Adelaide, Brisbane, Richmond and the Giants all feature in their next six matches, but the weekend’s win over Geelong would suggest they’re up for it.
If the Power want to believe they’re a finals side, they’re gonna have to knock off one or two of these sides. A last-round clash against Fremantle could very well be a season defying fixture.
Richmond – 59.1%
A fit Tiger side is a finals Tiger side. Unfortunately, Damian Hardwick’s 2019 campaign has been riddled with injuries, as stars in the yellow and black have fallen like flies. Their tough 2019 fixture is reflected from their first-place finish in 2018, while the side has struggled to keep up with the level we’ve seen from Richmond in the past two years.
A trip to the Gold Coast in round 16 is the only interstate fixture the Tigers make for the rest of the year, including their last seven at the G’. Add several of the current injured Tigers into the side and they’re a top-four calibre outfit, but it’s looking hard for Richmond to do it without their best names.
St Kilda – 10.7%
The Saints looked the goods early. 4-1 heading into round six was a shock to most fans as they were perched in the top four, but an honest reflection mid-season on who they’ve managed to defeat and you would say they’re not a finals side.
They’re yet to get close to sides who are currently sitting pretty in a finals spot, and the gap is getting bigger. A big turnaround is needed for the Saints and with only five games against sides outside of the top eight remaining, it won’t be a comfy drive. The weekend’s loss to Brisbane was a fair reality check.
Even though they sit 15th, Sydney has managed to slowly turn their season around. Their only win in the opening seven rounds came against Carlton and they failed to win a home match until round eight.
A dominant win over the Eagles could be the igniter the Swans playing group needed to have September on their mind once again. They can wait until round 18 before they play a top-eight side, but mustn’t put a foot wrong in the build-up to what will be a tough last month and a half that includes Fremantle, Geelong and the Giants.
West Coast – 93.3%
From the nine games remaining for the Eagles, five are at Optus Stadium. Add five wins to the Eagles current record and they reach the magical 14 wins mark. Factor in away trips to Carlton, Melbourne and Hawthorn and their position on the ladder come September is looking very high up.
Consecutive top two finishes would be a dream for the reigning premiers, as they continue to dominate at home out west. To get there, however, the Eagles are gonna need their role players to step up once again, with injuries continuing slow down any momentum.
Western Bulldogs – 5.5%
The good news? The Bulldogs have five games at Marvel Stadium in their run home. The bad news? They still have Port Adelaide, Geelong, Fremantle, Brisbane, Greater Western Sydney and Adelaide to play. And they’re loss against the Pies on Sunday didn’t help.
In the Dogs’ case, the bad will outweigh the good. While they sit just two wins away from a finals position, their run home will be too much for a young list. Although, if one team is to defy the odds, it’s this one.