The run home: It all comes down to this
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The run home: It all comes down to this

The race for the finals will go down to the final round of the home and away season.

The race for the finals will go down to the final round of the home and away season.  

St Kilda, the Western Bulldogs, Melbourne and Greater Western Sydney must win in round 17 and percentage could be a deciding factor.

It's also tight at the top with the all-important double chance up for grabs for finishing in the top four.

Port Adelaide and Brisbane have locked in a home qualifying final, while Richmond, Geelong and West Coast will fight it out for the remaining spots.

1. Port Adelaide

52 points (13 wins, three losses), 136.4 percent
One hand is on the minor premiership. Port Adelaide has been superb this season, with a commanding victory over Essendon on Saturday ensuring Ken Hinkley's side will earn a home qualifying final and a double chance. Claiming top spot would be just as sweet, and they can do that with any sort of result against Collingwood next week. A fifth straight win would be the perfect tune-up, and would add a fourth McClelland Trophy to the cabinet. - Riley Beveridge

The run home
R18: Collingwood @ the Gabba

2. Brisbane

52 points (13 wins, three losses), 124.7 per cent
There are only two possible outcomes for Brisbane now – first or second. In either case it will host a qualifying final at the Gabba in week one of the finals. To have any chance of winning the minor premiership the Lions must defeat Carlton in the final round next Saturday night and will likely recall Brandon Starcevich for the match. It will then come down to the final match of the home and away season and whether Collingwood can upset Port Adelaide. If Brisbane loses to Carlton, it will still finish second. - Michael Whiting

The run home
R18: Carlton @ the Gabba

3. Richmond

46 points (11 wins, one draw, four losses), 125.8 per cent
It was a big result for the Tigers' season getting over the line against the Cats last week, meaning Richmond just needs to account for the last-placed Adelaide in the final round of the season to lock in a top-four position. A qualifying final against Brisbane looms in the first week of the finals with Richmond to enter the business end of the season having won all of their nine games in Queensland this year. - Callum Twomey

The run home
R18: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval

4. Geelong

44 points (11 wins, five losses), 138.9 percent
The Cats could have confirmed a top-four spot by beating Richmond on Friday night, but they failed against last year's premiers. It means they will need to beat Sydney in the final round to claim a berth in the top four given the Eagles, who are fifth and equal on wins, would be expected to account for North Melbourne in round 18. The Cats' competition-best percentage means if they and the Eagles both win this week Geelong will claim a prized top-four place. - Callum Twomey

The run home
R18: Sydney @ Metricon Stadium

5. West Coast

44 points (11 wins, five losses), 116 percent
Adam Simpson said before Thursday night's victory over St Kilda that West Coast's focus was purely on securing finals footy. Well, with a top-eight spot confirmed – and with only one game to go against the lowly North Melbourne – does that focus turn to securing a double chance? A lot would have to go right. Firstly, the Eagles would have to beat the Kangaroos. Then, either Richmond would have to lose to Adelaide or Geelong would have to lose to Sydney. It's a long-shot, but it's better than nothing. Regardless, the lowest West Coast can now finish is fifth – meaning it should, at the very least, have a home elimination final. - Riley Beveridge

The run home
R18: North Melbourne @ Metricon Stadium

6. Collingwood

38 points (nine wins, one draw, six losses), 112.2 per cent
The Magpies are now locked in to the top eight for a third straight year. They play League leaders Port Adelaide in the final round and can finish anywhere from sixth to eighth depending on results. A win would see them sixth, while a loss could have them tumbling a little lower. It might make little difference though, with the successful return of Jordan De Goey and Adam Treloar making an immediate difference to the Magpies. They will be a difficult elimination final opponent for whoever gets them first up. - Michael Whiting

The run home
R18: Port Adelaide @ the Gabba 

7. St Kilda

36 points (nine wins, seven losses), 111.4 percent
It's starting to get nervous at the bottom of the eight for St Kilda. Defeat to West Coast on Thursday night leaves its finals hopes genuinely hanging in the balance. While victory over the Eagles would have almost assured a top-eight spot and a return to the finals for the first time in nine years, the Saints now face a mini-elimination final in round 23 against the Giants. It could be as simple as win-or-go-home. Of course, should they lose, there remains a chance they could still make it. But there's no doubt Brett Ratten wouldn't want to be relying on results involving the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne to all go their way across what shapes to be a very twitchy weekend. - Riley Beveridge

The run home
R18: Greater Western Sydney @ the Gabba

8. Western Bulldogs

36 points (nine wins, seven losses) 103.9 per cent
Destiny is completely in their own hands here. The Bulldogs can now aim for as high as sixth spot, but that requires a win over Fremantle and the Giants would need to beat the Saints in round 18. At the very least, a win will lock up a finals spot for the Bulldogs. If they lose to the Dockers, they can still grab eighth place if the Saints beat the Giants and the Bombers down the Demons. - Jourdan Canil

The run home
R18: Fremantle @ Cazalys Stadium

9. Melbourne

32 points (eight wins, eight losses), 106.2 per cent
The Demons sure know how to make things more complicated than they need to be. They would already be assured of a finals spot if they'd beaten Sydney and Fremantle, but instead blew those while beating St Kilda and GWS either side of those losses. Now Melbourne must account for Essendon on Saturday afternoon – a strong victory would be perfect – and hope the Giants defeat the Saints. It would then come down to percentage between the Dees and St Kilda for eighth spot. Alternatively, a Western Bulldogs loss to Fremantle would also enable Melbourne to make the top eight. - Marc McGowan

The run home
R18: Essendon @ Metricon Stadium

10. Greater Western Sydney

32 points (eight wins, eight losses), 100.6 per cent
It shouldn't have come to this for the Giants, but here they are. They must defeat St Kilda on Friday night, with a sizeable winning margin the ideal result, given their percentage discrepancy. GWS would also like to see Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs trip up against Essendon and Fremantle, respectively. The Giants' best winning streak this season was only three games, and they won two in a row just twice. Their four-season run of playing finals is in serious jeopardy, a surprising scenario after making last year's Grand Final. - Marc McGowan

The run home
R18: St Kilda @ the Gabba

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