GEELONG, VICTORIA - JULY 21: Zach Tuohy of the Cats celebrates after kicking the winning goal during the round 18 AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Melbourne Demons at GMHBA Stadium on July 21, 2018 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Richmond vs Hawthorn

MCG, 7:20 pm Thursday, September 6

Team news: Richmond have dropped Brandon Ellis in favour of premiership Tiger Kane Lambert.

The Hawks have brought in key players James Sicily, James Frawley and Jonathon Ceglar.

Injury watch: Dan Butler (Richmond) played limited minutes in the VFL last weekend and will probably have another run through there this week and could play next week.

Prediction: If any team is going to beat the Tigers it’s probably Hawthorn but Richmond will still be too good. Richmond by 27 points.

Melbourne vs Geelong

MCG, 7:50 pm Friday, September 7

Team news: Dom Tyson and Jack Viney both got through training this week and look to be ready to go.

The Cats have already announced that Ryan Abbott will be the ruckman to take on All Australian Max Gawn.

Injury watch: Dean Kent (Melbourne) won’t play this week but if the Dees win then he could be back next week.

Prediction: If Melbourne play their best footy, they are the better team across the field. James Harmes has a big task on his hands regardless of which midfielder he lines up on. Melbourne by three points.


Sydney vs GWS

SCG, 4:20 pm Saturday, September 8

Team news: The Swans are adamant that Buddy Franklin and Luke Parker are fit to play this weekend. Sam Reid is also a chance to return despite missing most of the season.

The Giants could have some big inclusions this week with Toby Greene, Zac Williams, Matt de Boer, Brett Deledio, Sam Taylor, Ryan Griffen and Aiden Corr all putting their hands up for selection.

Injury watch: If Reid (Sydney) doesn’t play in the senior team this week, he will play in the NEAFL and should play next week if the Swans win on Saturday.

Prediction: The Giants have been in good form, but Sydney go to another level in finals. Sydney by seven points.


West Coast vs Collingwood

Optus Stadium, 6:10 pm Saturday, September 8

Team news: The Eagles have declared Josh Kenney fit to play and Lewis Jetta will come back into the side.

Jeremy Howe will come back in for Collingwood and Adam Treloar and Tyson Goldsack could be shock inclusions.

Injury watch: Collingwood still have a lengthy injury list but a win on Saturday and week off next week could be crucial in getting some big names back into the side for a late finals stint.

Prediction: West Coast at their best are very hard to beat and a trip to Perth is never easy. West Coast by 10 points.


Point to prove:

Melbourne. The Demons made it to the finals, but the work doesn’t stop there. They have declared that they’re not just there to make up the numbers and they want to go deep into September.

They definitely can play a big part in the finals, but they need to play consistently at their best which they haven’t done throughout the year.

Jordan Lewis has a big role to play over the next few weeks as he is one of the only ones in the team with finals experience.

Whatever happens to Melbourne on Friday, they will be better for it next year.