With a top seven seemingly locked in, five clubs appear to be battling it out for the last AFL finals spot in 2019. We assess each club’s chances, and their run home.
Five doesn’t go into one. It’s a square (or pentagonal) peg-in-a-round-hole situation in the AFL at present. Five clubs – Fremantle, Port Adelaide, Essendon, North Melbourne and Sydney – are vying for the last spot in the 2019 AFL finals series. Sure, one of the current top seven could slip down, or one of 13th or 14th make a miraculous rise, but Palmerbet’s current prices suggest not. The top seven are all $1.14 or better to remain in the top eight, while 13th or below are all $12 or worse. As such, it’s likely a five-way race for eighth. Below, we assess each club’s chance of grabbing the chance at September action.
Essendon (28pts,$2.00 to make the top eight)
The heaviest-fancied (only just) of these five is the Dons, who shortened from $2.50 into $2 after a stunning win over the Giants in round 14. The Dons could hardly have had a better weekend, not only knocking off an AFL premiership hopeful, but seeing close rivals Port Adelaide and Fremantle both lose games they were fancied to win. John Worsfold’s side are also blessed with a favourable run home. In their last eight games, they play against just one top-four side (Collingwood in round 23).
Incredibly, Essendon haven’t a final since 2004. It’s high time they do so given the historical success of the club. Could 2019 be that year?
"There's enormous pressure on him and the team now to achieve this year and to make the finals this year."
— SEN 1116 (@1116sen) June 23, 2019
Port Adelaide (28pts, $2.25)
The Power blew a chance to remain in the eight with an upset loss to the Dogs on Saturday night. Despite starting as $1.32 favourites with Palmerbet, Ken Hinkley’s side couldn’t overcome a determine Dogs outfit in the wet. The loss is made worse by the fact that the Power have a fairly difficult month ahead. Starting with Adelaide in the Showdown this weekend (which they start as $2.23 outsiders), Port then face three top-eight sides in a row in Brisbane, Richmond and GWS. It goes without saying that the next month will likely define their season.
It’s not the loss that I’m shocked by, but it’s the worst @PAFC performance of the year that has me stunned. The Jekyll and Hyde season continues….
Where to from here Port fans? #AFLPowerDogs
— PowerFromPort (@PowerFromPort) June 29, 2019
Fremantle (28pts, $2.68)
Similarly to the Power, Freo also blew a chance to maintain breathing space with fellow finals hopefuls after a last-gasp loss to (then) bottom-placed Carlton. Going in as strong $1.29 favourites, the Dockers were poor in a loss that simply shouldn’t have happened. After kicking the first five goals of the game, they switched off and allowed the beleaguered Blues back into the game. Thankfully for Ross Lyon, his side face just two top-eight sides in their remaining eight games of AFL season 2019. But they also play three sides mentioned in this piece (Sydney, Essendon, Port Adelaide) which will likely determine their chances.
Courageous win by the Blues…great scenes after the game. How much is that going to hurt Freo’s finals chances? Going to be a big buildup to derby 50 this week.
— Adam Papalia (@adampaps) June 30, 2019
Sydney (24pts, $4.50)
Five wins in their last seven has seen the Swans, incredibly, back in the AFL finals frame. But only just. As long as $16 chances back in round seven (after which they sat 1-6), strong recent form by the young Swans has revived their season. A favourable recent draw has also helped. After beating the Suns on the weekend, John Longmire’s side face Essendon, Carlton and Fremantle in the coming weeks. One would think two wins within those three games is a minimum for the Bloods.
— AFL (@AFL) June 21, 2019
North Melbourne (24pts, $6.50)
The biggest outsider of the bunch, North Melbourne has incredibly re-entered the AFL finals frame with three wins in their last four games. And they’ve done it under interim coach Rhyce Shaw who is suddenly being mentioned as a candidate for the full-time role. After round nine the Roos were $18 outsiders to make the eight but have shortened into $6.50 with impressive wins over Richmond and Collingwood. Their run home is a mixed bag, featuring winnable games against St Kilda, Melbourne and Hawthorn, but tough matchups against West Coast, Geelong and Brisbane.
— Ross Payne (@RossPayneAU) June 29, 2019