MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 29: A general view of the national anthem during the 2018 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 29, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

ADELAIDE: Round 10- 13

  • West Coast (AO)
  • Melbourne (TIO)
  • GWS (AO)
  • Richmond (AO)

The Crows’ most difficult period comes before their bye with three home games against premiers West Coast, GWS and Richmond as well as another Darwin trip against Melbourne. With the Crows looking to be back to playing finals this season, they must win most of their home games but all their opponents can play well at any given time.

BRISBANE: Round 1-4

  • West Coast (G)
  • North Melbourne (Marvel)
  • Port Adelaide (G)
  • Essendon (MCG)

With the Lions exciting the football world with their brand of footy towards the back end of last season, the young team are looking to start the season off like that. With many experts expecting big improvements from the team, they must win a couple of early games to gain momentum and confidence.

CARLTON: Round 1-4

  • Richmond (MCG)
  • Port Adelaide (AO)
  • Sydney (Marvel)
  • Gold Coast (MS)

Carlton will be looking to improve from their two-win 2018 season. Facing three teams that will be in finals contention come end of year, the Blues must beat Gold Coast in order to gain momentum for the rest of the season. The team is trying to improve the youth as they are not looking to play finals just yet.

COLLINGWOOD: Round 16-19

  • Hawthorn (MCG)
  • West Coast (OS)
  • GWS (SSS)
  • Richmond (MCG)

The Pies look set to return to the big stage yet again after picking up A grade midfielder Dayne Beams. With all four teams playing finals last season, this is by far Collingwood’s toughest month. Can they finally beat West Coast at Optus Stadium, as well as an away game to GWS this sets up an exciting month of footy as it will determine how well Collingwood will do come finals time.

ESSENDON: Round 19-22

  • Gold Coast (MS)
  • Port Adelaide (Marvel)
  • Western Bulldogs (Marvel)
  • Fremantle (OS)

The Bombers have a really good opportunity to gain momentum before the finals with the club set to face teams that are not going to be around the mark besides Port Adelaide. With the inclusion of Dylan Shiel, the Bombers look to make a deep run into the finals.

FREMANTLE: Round 7- 10

  • Adelaide (AO)
  • Richmond (OS)
  • Essendon (Marvel)
  • Brisbane (OS)

If the Dockers are going to become a serious finals contender, then they must win three out of the four games. With most of these teams set to be around the mark, Freo must make it known early that they are a serious threat. Two of these games are at home which helps as many teams struggle to play in Perth.

GEELONG: Round 1- 4

  • Collingwood (MCG)
  • Melbourne (GMHBA)
  • Adelaide (AO)
  • GWS (GMHBA)
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Geelong’s first six weeks involve facing five finalists from last season as well as an away trip to Adelaide. This will test where the Cats are at as they must win at least three to four of these games in order to make the top four. Round one looks to be exciting with DangerWoodLett set to be challenged by arguably the best midfield in the competition in Collingwood.

GOLD COAST: Round 1-4

What seems to be another struggling season for the Suns, they must win at least a couple of games early in order to grow confidence within the young kids. With both captains departing the club, the team must not panic as they all know that they will struggle this season.

GWS: Round 1-4

  • Essendon (SS)
  • West Coast (OS)
  • Richmond (SSS)
  • Geelong (GMHBA)

The first four games will be massive for the Giants as they face former player Dylan Shiel in the first round, then face the last two premiers in West Coast and Richmond as well as play Geelong in Geelong which is always a tough ask. If the Giants can manage to walk away with two wins from this tough start, they will be looking to finish top four as all the hard teams are out of the way early.

HAWTHORN: Round 1- 4

With the Hawks having a soft draw to start off the year, it is important for the club to get off to a good start and build momentum for the new season. With Chad Wingard now at the club, the Hawks look set to redeem themselves from a shock straight exit from the finals this season.

MELBOURNE: Round 20- 23

  • Richmond (MCG)
  • Collingwood (MCG)
  • Sydney (MCG)
  • North Melbourne (BA)

The Demons look set to play finals footy again as they are set for a difficult period towards the end of the season. With three games at the ‘G against Collingwood, Richmond and Sydney, the Demons do not want to dwell on other results to go their way in order to make finals. North Melbourne is always a tough team to beat in Hobart as the Demons can not afford to lose easy games this season.

NORTH MELBOURNE: Round 3-6

  • Hawthorn (MCG)
  • Adelaide (Marvel)
  • Essendon (Marvel)
  • Port Adelaide (AO)

North Melbourne need to start the season off strong in order to play finals. With three games in Victoria and one interstate, the Kangaroos will aim to win three out of the four games. With new recruit Jared Polec joining the club, this gives North supporters hope of reaching finals as he provides gut running and speed which the club needs.

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PORT ADELAIDE: Round 19-22

  • GWS (AO)
  • Essendon (Marvel)
  • Sydney (AO)
  • North Melbourne (Marvel)

With the Power’s disappointing ending to the 2018 season, they must not repeat it in 2019. This will be the month that will define the club’s season with all four teams tipped to be around the finals mark come season’s end. With two home games, the Power should be looking to win at least two of the four games.

RICHMOND: Round 2-5

  • Collingwood (MCG)
  • GWS (SSS)
  • Port Adelaide (AO)
  • Sydney (Marvel)

The start of Richmond’s campaign will be tough with only two of the first five games being played at the G. With the team only managing to win one interstate game this season, the Tigers will be quick to fix that record. The club looks set to challenge for the flag again and will be favorites come round one.

ST KILDA: Round 6-9

  • Adelaide (Marvel)
  • GWS (UNSW)
  • West Coast (Marvel)
  • Collingwood (MCG)

St Kilda have a tough run just before they bye as they take on three teams that made finals last season as well as the Crows. Playing against two interstate teams at Marvel gives the Saints a little advantage but they must be competitive otherwise they are bound to have another failed year.

SYDNEY: Round 9-12

  • North Melbourne (BA)
  • Collingwood (SCG)
  • Geelong (GMHBA)
  • West Coast (SCG)

The Swans play both grand finalists but lucky for them it is at home. Geelong in Geelong is always a tough ask as well as trying to beat the Kangaroos in Hobart. For Sydney to make a presence this season, they must perform well just before the bye in order to bid for a successful year.

WEST COAST: Round 15-18

  • Hawthorn (MCG)
  • Fremantle (OS)
  • Collingwood (OS)
  • Melbourne (TIO)

In this month, the Eagles face three finals teams as well as Fremantle. It doesn’t really matter where both teams are on the ladder with the Western Australian derby always being an exciting game of footy to watch. The grand final replay will be the one to watch as well as the Eagles’ trip to Darwin as Melbourne tend to play well there.

WESTERN BULLDOGS: Round 20-23

  • Brisbane (G)
  • Essendon (Marvel)
  • GWS (SSS)
  • Adelaide (MARS)

The club has struggled ever since winning the 2016 premiership. They haven’t reached the finals for two years and look to make amends. With this run home it could indicate whether the players will book September holidays or be ready for another finals campaign.