The race toward the AFL finals is heating up with arguably 12 teams in contention for September action.

Currently looking at Round 15 and beyond, there are games that will ultimately shape how the top eight will look come season’s end.

From top of the table clashes to middle-tier battles, every game is as significant as the next as teams vie for the four points in what could be essentially an eight-point win.

Round 15

Melbourne (2nd) vs Brisbane (1st)

Thursday night’s clash between ladder leaders Brisbane and reigning premiers Melbourne is arguably the biggest game of the season so far.

Facing each other for the first time, the Lions recently dethroned the Demons from the top and will look to hold onto that spot at the MCG.

Simon Goodwin and his men have lost three consecutive games and a fourth could open up their position in the top four, with Fremantle, Geelong and Carlton on their tail.


Sydney (7th) vs St Kilda (8th)

Sizing up to be a crucial contest, the loser could face falling to 11th, whilst the winner could go as high as fifth and closing in on a double chance.

Both sides are coming off disappointing losses, with Sydney falling to Port Adelaide and putting their season in a vulnerable position, while St Kilda’s defeat at the hands of Essendon could be one of the worst of the year.

Round 16

Carlton (5th) vs St Kilda (8th)

Despite the previous weeks results, this game will have all eyes on it, taking place at Marvel Stadium on a Friday night.

Carlton must win games like this to potentially steal a top four spot come season’s end and stake their claims as genuine contenders.

St Kilda’s run home means crucial games like this are common and victories against top-end sides can provide them with belief and confidence that they can match it with some of the better teams in the league as well as keeping their year alive.

Round 17

Geelong (4th) vs Melbourne (2nd)

Although Melbourne do have the upper hand in recent times, the clash between Geelong and the Demons is usually a hard-fought contest that is decided by a matter of points.

Being played at GMHBA Stadium, a fortress of the Cats who have lost a measly 12 matches in a decade at the ground, including Melbourne skipper Max Gawn’s shot-after-the-siren in round 23 2021 to steal the minor premiership.

This match-up can cause some waves, either opening either side to a home qualifying final or the potential to face an elimination in the first week of the finals.


Sydney (7th) vs Western Bulldogs (10th)

The Western Bulldogs face a tough run home and this game could be an elimination match, depending on previous results.

Sydney are expected to still be in touch with the top four but a win here would catapult their chances and put them right into the mix.

Historically a tough match between the 2016 grand finalists, Luke Beveridge and his men must get it right or they make kiss their season goodbye.

Round 19

Richmond (6th) vs Fremantle (3rd)

Richmond’s attempts to return to premiership glory is on track, but tasks against top-ended teams may be a hurdle.

Fremantle travel to Marvel Stadium for a Friday night blockbuster and will hope to come away with the four points to persist with top two contention.


Brisbane (1st) vs Gold Coast (11th)

From predictions, this game is posing to big one of the bigger Q clash’s in its history, with Gold Coast presenting as a genuine finals contender.

Brisbane will need to keep winning games, in particular ones like this, to ensure a home qualifying final or a double chance.

Inching closer to the end of the year, the Suns may have to win this game to stay relevant for September but risk losing and ultimately see season 2022 go down the drain.

Round 21

Brisbane (1st) vs Carlton (5th)

Unsure of what day and time it’ll be played (due to rolling fixtures), this game appears to have the potential to cause shockwaves through the competition.

If predictions go as planned, Brisbane should come away with the win and hold onto a top two spot, however, if Carlton were to shock the AFL world with a win on the road, it’ll change the appearance of the top six.

A loss to either side at this stage of the season could define where they sit, which is most certainly outside the top four and in the mix for an elimination final or worse.

Round 22

Melbourne (2nd) vs Carlton (5th)

Carlton’s run home has been labelled as one of the hardest and face the best teams in the competition in consecutive weeks.

Melbourne is expected to regain its 2021 premiership form by this point of the year and punters would pick the Demons.

However, a surprise loss to the Blues could drop Melbourne out of the top but still within reach, whilst raising Carlton to top two contention.

Round 23

Carlton (5th) vs Collingwood (9th)

The contest of arch-rivals Carlton and Collingwood already speaks volumes to the importance of the clash, as history indicates a deep and entrenched tale between the two sides.

However, to add another layer of intrigue, the final round match-up could dictate where either club finishes on the ladder as well as impact those teams around them.

The Pies did steal the previous encounter by four points and despite its date well into the future, predictions would suggest there won’t be much between the sides, as so much is on the line.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *