Every club’s dream run through the finals

Justin Edwards Roar Rookie

By Justin Edwards, Justin Edwards is a Roar Rookie

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    As the AFL finals are upon us, every club is set on lifting the cup on grand final day. But there is a lot that can happen in between now and then.

    A favourable draw or fortunate results in other games can help in the path to a premiership. Here is every club’s dream run through the finals.

    More AFL Finals
    » Finals forecast: Adelaide vs GWS
    » Expert tips and predictions
    » Adelaide vs GWS preview
    » Crystal Ball predictions from the team

    QF versus GWS
    PF versus Essendon
    GF versus Port Adelaide
    A win against GWS in Week 1 would set up a home preliminary final against Richmond, Geelong, Sydney or Essendon. There’s no doubt who Adelaide would prefer to face out of those four, having beaten the Bombers by 43 points just three weeks ago.

    A showdown grand final is unlikely but would be the ideal scenario for the Crows, with their 84-point Round 20 win still fresh in the Port Adelaide memory.

    QF versus Richmond
    PF versus Port Adelaide
    GF versus Richmond
    Avoid Sydney at all costs. Having lost five of their last six encounters with the Swans, including their last three by a combined 121 points, Chris Scott’s men will be barracking hard for the Bombers on Saturday, especially if they lose to Richmond on Friday night. However, a win for the Cats will mean they won’t play Sydney until the grand final, a perfect result given the Swans’ last two grand final performances.

    Currently holding a 13-match winning streak over the Tigers, playing them twice is a relatively realistic and desirable result for Geelong and the mental demons could be too much for the Tigers come grand final day.

    Patrick Dangerfield Geelong Cats AFL 2017

    Pat Dangerfield (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    QF versus Geelong
    PF versus West Coast
    GF versus Essendon
    The qualifying final is a hugely important game for Richmond. They haven’t won a final since 2001 and a first-week loss could mean a semi-final against Sydney – the form side of the competition – and a straight sets exit, wasting their top four finish.

    Should they win against Geelong this weekend, the Tigers would love to avoid their fellow top four sides with a preliminary final against West Coast and a grand final against Essendon. The Giants would be Richmond’s preferred grand final opponent out of the top four sides, having beaten them at the MCG earlier this year.

    QF versus Adelaide
    PF versus Essendon
    GF versus Port Adelaide
    The Giants will be hoping Geelong are knocked out in straight sets after the Cats embarrassed them by 44 points in the final round. Essendon would be the most favourable of the possible preliminary final opponents for the Giants, with Phil Davis clamping the threat of Joe Daniher the last time they met.

    The Giants have been outclassed by Adelaide, Sydney and Geelong during the year, so a grand final against Port Adelaide or even Richmond would be a good result.

    Port Adelaide
    EF versus West Coast
    SF versus GWS
    PF versus Geelong
    GF versus Sydney
    Port will be looking to avoid their cross-town rivals after the Crows beat them twice this year, including a 14 goal smashing in Round 20.

    They’ll be hoping the Crows beat the Giants on Thursday night, setting up a trip to the Harbour City in the second week. The Power will be reasonably confident against Geelong in a prelim, after they had them all but beaten earlier this year, if not for Charlie Dixon’s time clock expiry and some Patrick Dangerfield brilliance.

    With Sydney shaping as the team most likely to knock off the Crows, Ken Hinkley would be hoping the Swans could beat Adelaide in a bruising preliminary final, leaving them sore for the grand final.

    Eddie Betts Adelaide Crows AFL 2017

    Eddie Betts. (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

    EF versus Essendon
    SF versus Richmond
    PF versus GWS
    GF versus Geelong
    After a win over the Bombers, it wouldn’t bother Sydney supporters whether they faced Geelong or Richmond in Week 2, having beaten both away from home during the year. With Sydney having the wood over Geelong in recent times, playing them in a grand final would be ideal for the Swans, especially considering last year’s preliminary final at the MCG.

    That leaves a preliminary final against either Adelaide or GWS and John Longmire’s men would slightly favour the Giants, especially if the AFL move the game to the SCG or ANZ Stadium to get a bigger crowd, removing the Giants’ home-ground advantage.

    EF versus Sydney
    SF versus Geelong
    PF versus GWS
    GF versus Port Adelaide
    Essendon beat the Cats earlier in the year, despite Dangerfield and Selwood polling the most votes from the coaches in that game, so the Bombers will not be afraid of the midfield superstars.

    The Giants are the lesser of two evils in the preliminary final, with a trip to Spotless Stadium marginally more favourable than a trip to the Adelaide Oval. While it’s unlikely, the Bulldogs proved anything can happen in the finals last year and Essendon’s ideal grand final opponent would be Port Adelaide after they put them to the sword in Round 12 with a 70-point win.

    West Coast
    EF versus Port Adelaide
    SF versus GWS
    PF versus Geelong
    GF versus Sydney
    Remember Nic Naitunui’s goal on the siren to beat the Giants last year? They’ve proven they can beat GWS at home and would prefer to play them over back to back trips to the Adelaide Oval. It will be Richmond or Geelong in a preliminary final and when your most important player is a full-forward, you don’t want to be playing any team with Alex Rance in it.

    West Coast were one of the teams to beat Sydney in their first six games, so they can topple them if they’re having an off day. Besides, wouldn’t we all love to see another Sydney versus West Coast grand final?

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    The Crowd Says (1)

    • September 7th 2017 @ 6:23am
      Sam said | September 7th 2017 @ 6:23am | ! Report

      Essendon are the biggest beneficiary here. Being in the 8 after a mixed success this year is reward for effort however inconsistent. That reward is big game finals experience for many of their younger players. Playing Sydney in Sydney is a tough ask. I want Essendon to win. I hope Essendon win but I think they’ll fall short, by less than 20 points.

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