THERE are just two rounds to go before the Smithy’s VFL finals and there is plenty riding on the final fortnight of the home-and-away season.

Several key contenders only have one match left with Werribee, North Melbourne and Southport sitting it out in Round 21.

Fourteen teams can mathematically still make the finals, but the top 10 could be locked up by Sunday night if results fall a certain way.

See how it could pan out.

1st, 15-2, 168.5%
STREAK: Won 14
PAST FIVE MATCHES: def Collingwood (39, Avalon Airport Oval); def North Melbourne (57, Arden Street Oval); def Frankston (44, Avalon Airport Oval); def Northern Bullants (144, Avalon Airport Oval); def Port Melbourne (23, ETU Stadium)
TO COME: Bye; Sydney (Tramway Oval)
SUMMARY: Guaranteed themselves two home finals with the easy win over Collingwood and could secure the minor premiership, pending percentage, if they can beat the Swans in Round 22. That game doesn’t look as straight forward as it did a fortnight ago though.
PREDICTION: 16-2 (2nd)

 2nd, 14-2, 172.5%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; def Brisbane Lions (18, Heritage Bank Stadium); def GWS Giants (40, Manuka Oval); Bye; def Frankston (107, Heritage Bank Stadium); lost Essendon (1, Windy Hill); def Box Hill Hawks (64, Heritage Bank Stadium).
TO COME: Sydney (SCG); Carlton (Heritage Bank Stadium)
SUMMARY: Guaranteed a spot in the top two if it wins one of its last two games, given the massive percentage lead it has over Box Hill. But this week now looms as a danger match given Sydney’s recent form. However, the Suns haven’t lost to the Swans since 2019, winning six in a row, and will be confident of extending that dominance.
PREDICTION: 16-2 (1st)

3rd, 13-3, 130.7%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; def Sandringham (47, Box Hill City Oval); def Richmond (3, Swinburne Centre); def North Melbourne (5, Arden St); def GWS (14, Giants Stadium); def Port Melbourne (23, Box Hill City Oval)
TO COME: Footscray Bulldogs (Box Hill City Oval); Frankston (Kinetic Stadium).
SUMMARY: Couldn’t be doing much more and only needs one win to lock away the double chance. This week's Footscray game looms as an absolute classic with the Bulldogs on an eight-game winning streak, but if they can’t get it done then, they haven’t lost to Frankston for 16 years.
PREDICTION: 15-3 (3rd)

4th, 12-3-1, 161.6%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; lost Gold Coast Suns (18, Heritage Bank Stadium); def Geelong Cats (35, Brighton Homes Arena); Bye; def Northern Bullants (128, Genis Steel Oval); lost Richmond (1, Brighton Homes Arena); drew Sandringham (0, Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval)
TO COME: Williamstown (Brighton Homes Arena); Casey Demons (Casey Fields)
SUMMARY: The Lions have the shakes with a 50% record from their past seven games, although Casey’s shock loss in Round 20 has given them some breathing space and they will seal the double chance with a home win over the Seagulls. Lose that, however, and Round 22 looms as a qualifying final come early.
PREDICTION: 13-4-1 (4th)

5th, 12-4, 115.1%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: def Richmond (22, DSV Stadium); def Casey Demons (1, Casey Fields); def Essendon (6, DSV Stadium); Bye; def Southport Sharks (10, DSV Stadium); lost North Melbourne (53, Arden Street Oval).
TO COME: Brisbane Lions (Brighton Homes Arena); Sandringham (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval).
SUMMARY: Facing a huge but not insurmountable task in Brisbane this week, with a victory moving them into the top four and putting them in the box seat to pinch a double chance. Defeat, however, could potentially still open the door to the chasing Footscray for their spot in the six.
PREDICTION: 13-5 (6th)

6th, 11-5, 133.0%
STREAK: Lost 1
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; lost Williamstown (1, Casey Fields); def Coburg (42, Piranha Park); Bye; def Sandringham (34, Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval); def GWS Giants (96, Casey Fields); def Geelong (40, GMHBA Stadium)
TO COME: Carlton (IKON Park); Brisbane Lions (Casey Fields)
SUMMARY: Can lock away their spot in the top six and stay in the top four race with a win over the Blues this week, but defeat will leave the reigning premiers vulnerable to sliding into the Wildcard positions. Will start favourite in both games.
PREDICTION: 13-5 (5th)

7th, 10-6, 124.3%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: def North Melbourne (66, ETU Stadium); Bye; def Northern Bullants (157, Genis Steel Oval); def Sydney Swans (62, Tramway Oval); def Collingwood (20, Avalon Airport Oval); def Coburg (32, DSV Stadium).
TO COME: Box Hill Hawks (Box Hill City Oval); Port Melbourne (ETU Stadium).
SUMMARY: Looming as a team that none of the top six will want to play in the finals with eight straight wins, most of them in convincing fashion. If they can defeat the Hawks this week then a top six spot could even be achievable pending other results. Capable of doing some major damage in September.
PREDICTION: 11-7 (7th)

8th, 10-7, 111.6%
STREAK: Lost 3
PAST FIVE MATCHES: lost Footscray Bulldogs (66, ETU Stadium); lost Werribee (57, Arden Street Oval); Bye; lost Box Hill Hawks 5 (Arden Street Oval); def Geelong Cats (43, GMHBA Stadium); def Williamstown (53, Arden Street Oval)
TO COME: Bye; Richmond (Swinburne Centre)
SUMMARY: Had a stinker against the Bulldogs to fall to a third-straight loss and their top six hopes are gone. Could be safe in the top 10 by Sunday night without even playing but if results don’t go their way then their finals spot could go on the line against the Tigers in Round 22.
PREDICTION: 11-7 (8th)

9th, 9-7, 118.5%
STREAK: Lost 1
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; lost Collingwood (28, Victoria Park); def Port Melbourne (36, IKON Park); Bye; def Coburg (52, Piranha Park); def Northern Bullants (85, IKON Park); Bye; lost Werribee (6, Avalon Airport Oval)
TO COME: Casey Demons (IKON Park); Gold Coast (Heritage Bank Stadium)
SUMMARY: The loss to Collingwood keeps their spot open to the chasing pack, and two extremely difficult games to come means they will need a big upset to stay in the hunt. Six wins in their past eight games is good form, but the early issues look set to be fatal.
PREDICTION: 9-9 (12th)

10th, 9-7, 110.6%
STREAK: Lost 1
PAST FIVE MATCHES: lost Werribee (39, Avalon Airport Oval); def Carlton (28, Victoria Park); def Sandringham (16, AIA Centre); Bye; lost Footscray Bulldogs (20, Avalon Airport Oval); def Frankston (95, Kinetic Stadium)
TO COME: Geelong Cats (Victoria Park); Southport Sharks (AIA Centre)
SUMMARY: The first quarter wipeout against Werribee was the worst football they have played in two months. But finals remain in their hands, and one victory in their last two games should lock away a spot in the Wildcard Round. They would love to take the pressure off by dealing with the Cats this week.
PREDICTION: 10-8 (9th)

11th, 8-7-1, 96.3%
STREAK: Lost 2
PAST FIVE MATCHES: lost Williamstown (22, DSV Stadium); Bye; lost Box Hill Hawks (3, Swinburne Centre); def Southport (13, Fankhauser Reserve); lost Sydney (21, Swinburne Centre); def Brisbane Lions (1, Brighton Homes Arena).
TO COME: Port Melbourne (Swinburne Centre); North Melbourne (Swinburne Centre)
SUMMARY: A win over Port Melbourne this week will keep their finals fate in their own hands, and with Carlton facing two difficult match-ups, they could find themselves in the top 10 by the end of this round. Could still survive with one defeat, but they would be cutting it fine.
PREDICTION: 9-8-1 (10th)

12th, 8-9, 112.5%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: def Essendon (8, Fankhauser Reserve); def Frankston (14, Kinetic Stadium); Bye; lost Richmond (13, Fankhauser Reserve); lost Williamstown (10, DSV Stadium); Bye; def Coburg (40, Fankhauser Reserve)
TO COME: Bye; Collingwood (AIA Centre)
SUMMARY: Another narrow win against a lower-ranked opponent, but a win is a win and it keeps the Sharks alive. But given they have the bye this week, victories to Carlton and Collingwood will end their season. But imagine the Magpies losing to Geelong? It would set up a black and white elimination final in Round 22.
PREDICTION: 9-9 (11th)

13th, 8-8, 86.2%
STREAK: Lost 2
PAST FIVE MATCHES: lost Sydney Swans (78, Blacktown International Sports Park); Bye; lost Gold Coast Suns (40, Manuka Oval); def Frankston (1, Kinetic Stadium); lost Box Hill Hawks (14, Giants Stadium); lost Casey Demons (96, Casey Fields).
TO COME: Northern Bullants (Genis Steel Oval); Geelong Cats (GMHBA Stadium).
SUMMARY: The thumping loss to Big Brother basically cooks the Giants, although they will be confident of bouncing back against the Bullants. They’ll be barracking hard for Geelong this week knowing that if the Cats can beat Collingwood, the Round 22 game at the Cattery could be for a finals spot.
PREDICTION: 9-9 (13th)

14th, 7-8-1, 82.0%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; def Northern Bullants (90, GMHBA Stadium); lost Brisbane Lions (35, Brighton Homes Arena); lost Essendon (10, GMHBA Stadium); lost North Melbourne (43, GMHBA Stadium); def Sydney Swans (8, SCG)
TO COME: Collingwood (Victoria Park); GWS Giants (GMHBA Stadium)
SUMMARY: Collingwood and Richmond’s losses mean the Cats survive one more week, with this week’s game against the Magpies being an elimination final for them. Win and they go to Round 22, lose and it is curtains.
PREDICTION: 8-9-1 (14th)

15th, 6-10, 88.8%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; def Coburg (10, ETU Stadium); lost Carlton (36, IKON Park); Bye; lost Werribee (23, ETU Stadium); lost Box Hill Hawks (23, Box Hill City Oval); def Essendon (53, ETU Stadium)
TO COME: Richmond (Swinburne Centre); Footscray Bulldogs (ETU Stadium)
SUMMARY: Still plenty to play for, with the chance to play finals spoiler for the Tigers and Bulldogs. The bye came at the wrong time after their women won the flag last week, but they will relish the opportunity to leave their mark on the season.
PREDICTION: 6-12 (15th)

16th, 4-12-1, 84.5%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: def Northern Bullants (99, Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval); lost Box Hill Hawks (47, Box Hill City Oval); lost Collingwood (16, AIA Centre); Bye; lost Casey Demons (34, Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval); lost Werribee (76, Avalon Airport Oval)
TO COME: Bye; Williamstown (Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval)
SUMMARY: An impressive performance against the Bullants. They know how to beat Williamstown and will see it as a golden opportunity to shake up the top six.
PREDICTION: 4-13-1 (17th)

17th, 4-13, 79.0%
STREAK: Lost 3
PAST FIVE MATCHES: lost Southport Sharks (8, Fankhauser Reserve); lost Sydney Swans (82, Windy Hill); lost Williamstown (6, DSV Stadium); def Geelong Cats (10, GMHBA Stadium); Bye; def Gold Coast Suns (1, Windy Hill)
TO COME: Bye; Coburg (Windy Hill)
SUMMARY: Have been pretty good in the past five weeks apart from the Swans game, but they do have three losses in a row ahead of their final bye. Will be confident of finishing with a win.
PREDICTION: 5-13 (16th)

18th, 4-12, 78.5%
PAST FIVE MATCHES: def GWS Giants (78, Blacktown International Sports Park); def Essendon (82, Windy Hill); Bye; lost Footscray Bulldogs (62, Tramway Oval); def Richmond (21, Swinburne Centre); lost Geelong Cats (8, SCG)
TO COME: Gold Coast Suns (SCG); Werribee (Tramway Oval)
SUMMARY: Another blistering performance from the Swans last week to effectively eliminate the Giants. They can look forward to influencing the minor premiership and top-two races over the last two games.
PREDICTION: 4-14 (18th)


19th, 3-13, 68.5%
STREAK: Lost 9
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; lost Southport Sharks (14, Kinetic Stadium); lost Werribee (44, Avalon Airport Oval); lost GWS Giants (1, Kinetic Stadium); lost Gold Coast Suns (107, Heritage Bank Stadium); lost Collingwood (95, Kinetic Stadium)
TO COME: Coburg (Piranha Park); Box Hill Hawks (Kinetic Stadium)
SUMMARY: Still competitive against much better credentialled teams, but they still can’t get over the line. Round 21 looms as a Grand Final for themselves and Coburg.
PREDICTION: 4-14 (19th)

20th, 2-14, 40.3%
STREAK: Lost 10
PAST FIVE MATCHES: lost Sandringham (99, Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval); lost Geelong (90, GMHBA Stadium); lost Footscray Bulldogs (157, Genis Steel Oval); lost Werribee (144, Avalon Airport Oval); lost Brisbane Lions (128, Genis Steel Oval).
TO COME: GWS Giants (Genis Steel Oval); Bye.
SUMMARY: There’s only one game to go for the Bullants, which will be played in front of their home fans at Preston. Let’s see them bounce back in 2024.
PREDICTION: 2-16 (20th)

21st, 0-16, 54.4%
STREAK: Lost 16
PAST FIVE MATCHES: Bye; lost Port Melbourne (10, ETU Stadium); lost Casey Demons (42, Piranha Park); Bye; lost Carlton (52, Piranha Park); lost Footscray Bulldogs (32, DSV Stadium); lost Southport (40, Fankhauser Reserve)
TO COME: Frankston (Piranha Park); Essendon (Windy Hill)
SUMMARY: A strong effort against Borough without quite getting over the line. If they can produce that again both their remaining games are winnable and they can still avoid the wooden spoon.
PREDICTION: 0-18 (21st)