AFL Rd 7 - Carlton v Port Adelaide
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 19: Travis Boak of the Power (second right) celebrates a goal with team mates during the round 7 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Port Adelaide Power at The Gabba on July 19, 2020 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

Former AFL stars Nick Riewoldt and Paul Hasleby have had their say on the year ahead, with the pair both tipping Port Adelaide and Geelong to fight atop the ladder come season’s end.

Riewoldt has tipped the Power and Cats to make the 2021 Grand Final, while Hasleby has gone one better in predicting Port Adelaide will take out the premiership for the first time since 2004.

“I think Port Adelaide will be the premiers this year,” Hasleby said on Sportsday WA. 

Riewoldt believed the impact of Geelong’s recruits will be too much for the opposition to handle, with Chris Scott set to lead the Cats to the final day of the season in a tussle with Port Adelaide.

“I think Geelong [will make the Grand Final] with what they were able to achieve in free agency this year.” Riewoldt said on Triple M’s The Rush Hour. 

“To go and add Jeremy Cameron … [he and Tom Hawkins] could be the best forward duo since Dunstall and Brereton.

“Geelong have just done so well. They’ve retained all their good players, they’re experienced, they’re hungry.

“Love Port, love the way they go about it. Love Ken Hinkley as a coach.

“It’s probably time Richmond fell away.”

Riewoldt also believed 2021 would be the third straight year the AFL saw a new face claim the Coleman Medal, tipping Port forward Charlie Dixon for the honours.

“He was in really good form to start the year last year and really struggled late in the year,” Riewoldt said.

“If he can recapture that early season form, it’ll be ‘big Chaz’ for the Coleman.”

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 11: Charlie Dixon of the Power celebrates after kicking a goal during the round 21 AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the West Coast Eagles at Adelaide Oval on August 11, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Riewoldt backed in Carlton to reach the top eight for the first time since 2013, putting his confidence in the Blues for 2021, while Hasleby tipped them to finish seventh.

“They’re gonna play finals,” Riewoldt said.

“It’s gonna happen…I think this is the year. They’ve recruited well. They’ve got what they needed with those players, (Adam) Saad and (Zac) Williams, coming in. A bit of pace.

“I think they’re gonna pop. I think six to eight for the Blues this year.”

The former St Kilda skipper was less eager on tipping Collingwood for a finals spot, believing they are likely to slide just outside the top eight.

“Big pre-season, in the news obviously,” he said. “They released their leadership group and its a real who’s who.

“I think they’re a good chance to play finals, but similar to Melbourne, if they can have a good run with injuries … 7th-10th.

Hasleby ruled out Collingwood from making the eight altogether, placing his former side Fremantle to take the final spot.

Paul Hasleby’s top eight for 2021:

Port Adelaide

Geelong

Brisbane

Richmond

West Coast

St Kilda

Carlton

Fremantle