THE FINALS are almost upon us and reporters have gazed into the crystal ball a week ahead of selection.

Players expected to be fit to play have been named in their respective positions with a summary on who got in and who missed out.

Check out the predicted line-ups below.

GET TO THE GAME All your finals ticketing info

Richmond v Hawthorn, MCG, Thursday, 7.20pm AEST, September 6

B: Dylan Grimes, Alex Rance, Nick Vlastuin
HB: Jayden Short, David Astbury, Bachar Houli
C: Shaun Grigg, Trent Cotchin, Kamdyn McIntosh
HF: Dion Prestia, Josh Caddy, Shane Edwards
F: Daniel Rioli, Jack Riewoldt, Jason Castagna
Foll: Toby Nankervis, Dustin Martin, Kane Lambert
I/C: Reece Conca, Jack Graham, Jack Higgins, Brandon Ellis

In: Kane Lambert
Out: Nathan Broad 

UNAVAILABLE: Jacob Townsend, Dan Butler

It's a line-ball call on Brandon Ellis or Nathan Broad as to who makes way for an expected fit Kane Lambert, with Kamdyn McIntosh, Jack Higgins and Reece Conca also in the discussion. A quiet couple of weeks and a few potential sore spots for Broad mean he might be the unlucky omission. The run of McIntosh and Ellis against the Hawks will be important, while Higgins probably holds his spot this week. Broad has dropped off in key statistical categories including intercept marks, tackles and general disposals in the last three weeks, which could be a red flag. Dan Butler's potential return in the second final – he's expected to play VFL this week and miss the Hawks' game – will make Higgins and possibly Jason Castagna nervous. But for now, unless the bye doesn't cure a litany of bruises and superficial injuries, changes should be minimal. - Jennifer Phelan

MATCH PREVIEW Tigers v Hawks

B: Ben Stratton, James Frawley, Blake Hardwick
HB: Jarman Impey, James Sicily, Ryan Burton
C: Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell, Shaun Burgoyne
HF: Luke Breust, Jarryd Roughead, Jack Gunston
F: Paul Puopolo, Jon Ceglar, Conor Nash
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Liam Shiels, Jaeger O'Meara
I/C: James Worpel, Harry Morrison, Dan Howe, Ricky Henderson

In: J.Sicily, D.Howe, J.Frawley, J.Ceglar 
Out: K.Brand, T.Miles, R.Schoenmakers, D.Mirra

UNAVAILABLE: Grant Birchall, Will Langford

Irishman Conor Nash and ruckman Jon Ceglar are the debatable selections here, while full-back James Frawley, the brilliant James Sicily and run-with specialist Dan Howe return. Nash can't nail a set shot to save his life at the moment – either could Will Langford, who played a similar role – but his tackling, general defensive pressure and creativity give him the edge over Ryan Schoenmakers. Schoenmakers' past month in totals: 33 disposals, seven marks and two goals. Ceglar plays to ram home the Hawks' ruck advantage over Richmond and because of his ability to engage the Tigers' defence, which leads the AFL in intercepts. Teia Miles is stiff, but team balance and a last-start eight-possession effort may cost him, while the key defensive pecking order sees Kaiden Brand miss out. - Marc McGowan 

Melbourne v Geelong, MCG, Friday, 7.50pm AEST, September 7

B: Neville Jetta, Oscar McDonald, Jordan Lewis
HB: Christian Salem, Sam Frost, Michael Hibberd
C: Bayley Fritsch, Clayton Oliver, Nathan Jones
HF: Aaron vandenBerg, Sam Weideman, Jake Melksham
F: Mitch Hannan, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca
Foll: Max Gawn, James Harmes, Jack Viney
I/C: Angus Brayshaw, Charlie Spargo, Joel Smith, Alex Neal-Bullen  

In: J.Viney, M.Hannan, J.Smith
Out: D.Tyson (arm), D.Kent (AC joint), J.Kennedy Harris 

UNAVAILABLE: Jesse Hogan, Dean Kent, Jake Lever, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince

Co-captain Jack Viney (foot) is a certain starter should he get through training next week. Viney replaces Dom Tyson, who remains a chance to play despite having surgery on a broken arm, but there have to be lingering question marks on his availability. Mitch Hannan (knee) must also pass a fitness test and if he's cleared should return in place of the injured Dean Kent. This is no certainty to happen but Joel Smith, who will return in the VFL from a broken collarbone on Saturday, will come into selection calculations and could replace the unlucky Jay Kennedy Harris. - Ben Guthrie



B: Jed Bews, Mark Blicavs, Lachie Henderson
HB: Zach Tuohy, Harry Taylor, Tom Stewart
C: Mitch Duncan, Joel Selwood, Jordan Murdoch
HF: Sam Menegola, Jack Henry, Scott Selwood
F: Brandan Parfitt, Tom Hawkins, Gary Ablett
Foll: Zac Smith, Patrick Dangerfield, Tim Kelly
I/C: Daniel Menzel, Jake Kolodjashnij, Cameron Guthrie, Jackson Thurlow

In: Z.Smith, J.Thurlow
Out: R.Abbott, M.O'Connor

UNAVAILABLE: Rhys Stanley, Aaron Black, Wylie Buzza, Nakia Cockatoo, Cory Gregson

Both changes are line-ball, but finals experience will assist Zac Smith and Jackson Thurlow's chances. Smith's extra size has him edging out Ryan Abbott who has done little wrong in his three games to date. The imposing prospect of Max Gawn could see Smith preferred with plenty to prove after his colours were lowered against the Demons in round one. Like Abbott, Mark O'Connor would be unlucky but Thurlow's experience has him just ahead. Lincoln McCarthy and Esava Ratugolea will be pressing their cases after two games in the VFL in time for selection but will most likely need another week. - Mitch Cleary

Sydney v Greater Western Sydney, SCG, Saturday, 4.50pm AEST, September 8

B: Heath Grundy, Dane Rampe, Zak Jones
HB: Jake Lloyd, Aliir Aliir, Jarrad McVeigh
C: Harry Cunningham, Josh Kennedy, Oliver Florent
HF: Tom Papley, Tom McCartin, Isaac Heeney
F: Will Hayward, Lance Franklin, Kieren Jack
Foll: Callum Sinclair, Luke Parker, George Hewett
I/C: Dan Hannebery, Ben Ronke, Dan Robinson, Nic Newman

In: L.Franklin, L.Parker
Out: Jordan Dawson, Robbie Fox

UNAVAILABLE: Callum Mills, Nick Smith, Sam Naismith, Alex Johnson

Lance Franklin and Luke Parker should be fit to take on the Giants, assuming they get through training next week. Jordan Dawson and Robbie Fox will likely make way for the star duo, with Nic Newman preferred because of his flexibility. Sam Reid (Achilles) might be nearing a return but can't be risked after playing one game for the year, while Gary Rohan and Dean Towers will have to try and force their way in via the NEAFL. - Adam Curley

MATCH PREVIEW Swans v Giants

B: Nick Haynes, Sam Taylor, Zac Williams
HB: Adam Kennedy, Phil Davis, Lachie Whitfield
C: Tim Taranto, Callan Ward, Josh Kelly 
HF: Matt de Boer, Jeremy Cameron, Daniel Lloyd
F: Stephen Coniglio, Harry Himmelberg, Toby Greene
Foll: Rory Lobb, Dylan Shiel, Jacob Hopper
I/C: Sam Reid, Adam Tomlinson, Zac Langdon, Harry Perryman

In: Boer, T.Greene, S.Taylor, Z.Williams  
Out: A.Bonar, M.Buntine, L.Keeffe, J.Finlayson

UNAVAILABLE: Heath Shaw, Tom Scully, Jon Patton, Dawson Simpson

The Giants will enjoy the return of some quality players from injury, but coach Leon Cameron won't get carried away by picking them all. Brett Deledio (calf) and Ryan Griffen (hamstring) carry a huge risk given their history, while key defender Aidan Corr (groin) hasn't played since round 16, so also misses out. Toby Greene is a match-winner so is an automatic inclusion, while Zac Williams, Sam Taylor and Matt de Boer are important to the set-up and also come in to face the Swans, for Lachie Keeffe, Jeremy Finlayson, Aiden Bonar and Matt Buntine- Adam Curley

West Coast v Collingwood, Optus Stadium, Saturday, 6.10pm AWST, September 8

B: Liam Duggan, Tom Barrass, Brad Sheppard
HB: Tom Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Shannon Hurn
C: Chris Masten, Elliot Yeo, Lewis Jetta
HF: Jamie Cripps, Jack Darling, Liam Ryan
F: Willie Rioli, Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCras
FOLL: Scott Lycett, Luke Shuey, Jack Redden
I/C: Nathan Vardy, Mark Hutchings, Daniel Venables, Dom Sheed

In: J.Kennedy, L.Jetta
W.Schofield, O.Allen

UNAVAILABLE: Andrew Gaff, Eric Mackenzie, Nic Naitanui

Will Schofield and Oscar Allen played their part in the round 23 victory at the Gabba but with spearhead Josh Kennedy (shin) and Lewis Jetta (calf) expected to be fit there are going to be some unlucky omissions for the qualifying final against Collingwood. The Pies don't have the tallest forward line – Mason Cox aside – and are dangerous at ground level, which might mean Schofield misses for team balance with Jetta returning. Second-gamer Allen is the most likely to slide out for dual Coleman medallist Kennedy. - Travis King


B: Brayden Maynard, Jack Madgen, Tom Langdon 
HB: Jeremy Howe, Darcy Moore, Jack Crisp
C: Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips
HF: Jordan De Goey, Brody Mihocek, Jaidyn Stephenson
F: Josh Thomas, Mason Cox, Will Hoskin-Elliott
Foll: Brodie Grundy, Adam Treloar, Taylor Adams
I/C: Travis Varcoe, Brayden Sier, James Aish, Chris Mayne

In: A.Treloar, D.Moore, J.Howe
L.Greenwood, A.Oxley, N.Murphy

UNAVAILABLE: Tim Broomhead, Lynden Dunn, Jamie Elliott, Sam Murray, Matt Scharenberg, Daniel Wells 

We've taken an aggressive approach to selection, including both midfielder Adam Treloar and key defender Darcy Moore for their first games back after hamstring injuries, although this crucial pair they might well be held back until at least the Pies’ next final. High-flying backman Jeremy Howe also returns to a defence that will need every ounce of experience and aerial ability against Eagles duo Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling. There’s hot competition for spots in this fast, flexible, skilful combination, and unfortunately there was no room for tagging option Levi Greenwood, rookie-listed defender Adam Oxley and youngster Nathan Murphy. - Ben Collins