ANOTHER round, another week closer to the Toyota AFL Finals Series and the race for a top-eight berth is heating up. 

West Coast delivered a huge blow to the resurgent St Kilda's finals hopes, the two-time reigning premier Richmond faces a terribly difficult road back to the finals and the previously dominant Demons look a shadow of themselves. 

LADDER PREDICTOR Where will your club finish?

Meanwhile, Carlton remains only a mathematical chance of breaking its September drought after an upset loss to wooden-spoon favourite North Melbourne. 

There are only four rounds to play. Check out what the contenders face in the decisive month ahead.

Gold Coast, Adelaide, Collingwood, Hawthorn and North Melbourne have not been considered. All venues are as scheduled and subject to change. 

1. Western Bulldogs

56 points (14 wins, four losses), 139.9 per cent
It was a massive win for the Bulldogs against Melbourne to claim top spot heading into round 20 and the Bulldogs will be favoured to win the rest of their games in the home and away season. Port Adelaide in the final round could shape as a key battle for the Power's top-four hopes and the Dogs could have sewn up a top-two spot by then but will be gunning for the minor premiership. - Callum Twomey

The run home
R20: Adelaide @ Mars Stadium
R21: Essendon @ Marvel Stadium
R22: Hawthorn @ UTAS Stadium
R23: Port Adelaide @ Marvel Stadium

LADDER PREDICTOR Where will your club finish?

2. Geelong

56 points (14 wins, four losses), 132.1 per cent
Two games clear of Brisbane in fifth place, victory against Richmond on Sunday looks as though it has guaranteed Geelong a double chance. The club's next three games are against opposition outside of the top six, while its final three games are all on its home deck at GMHBA Stadium. Given its lofty percentage, even a 2-2 split heading into the final month should just about secure a top-four berth. Of course, The Cats will probably need a better record to overcome the Western Bulldogs should they have the minor premiership on their mind. Having won 10 of its last 11 games, Geelong deserves the mantle as one of the League's best. - Riley Beveridge

The run home
R20: North Melbourne @ Blundstone Arena
R21: GWS Giants @ GMHBA Stadium
R22: St Kilda @ GMHBA Stadium
R23: Melbourne @ GMHBA Stadium

3. Melbourne

54 points (13 wins, four losses, one draw), 124.2 per cent
It isn't the easiest lead-in to the finals for the Demons, who have only claimed two wins from their past six games. They should beat Gold Coast and Adelaide, but West Coast in Perth and the Cats in Geelong in the final round will be very tough tasks as the Demons look to secure a top-four berth. - Callum Twomey

The run home
R20: Gold Coast @ TIO Stadium
R21: West Coast @ Optus Stadium
R22: Adelaide @ MCG
R23: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium

4. Port Adelaide

52 points (13 wins, five losses), 121.0 per cent
The most significant aspect of the Power's 28-point win against Collingwood was the returns of young trio Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma and Connor Rozee, who contributed but will get better by the week as the Power hunt a top-four spot. Four points clear of fifth-placed Brisbane, they're not there yet and have an inferior percentage to the Lions, meaning they're one loss away from dropping out of the top four and losing the double chance. Will be favoured to win their next three, against Greater Western Sydney, Adelaide and Carlton, before a crunch game against the Western Bulldogs. Starting to get their best line-up together at the right time. - Nathan Schmook    

The run home
R20: GWS Giants @ TBC
R21: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R22: Carlton @ Adelaide Oval
R23: Western Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium

LADDER PREDICTOR Where will your club finish?

5. Brisbane

48 points (12 wins, six losses), 127.3 per cent
The Lions got back on track against Gold Coast on Saturday, but still need a team above them to slip-up to grab a spot in the top four. Brisbane's run in is quite favourable, regardless of where the matches are played, with the two West Australian teams seemingly the biggest obstacles. The final two matches at the Gabba – at this stage – would give the Lions some nice continuity heading into September, wherever they finish on the ladder. - Michael Whiting

The run home
R20: Hawthorn @ MCG
R21: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium
R22: Collingwood @ Gabba
R23: West Coast @ Gabba

6. Sydney

48 points (12 wins, six losses), 118.8 per cent
With 12 wins and an improving percentage, the Swans have secured their finals place and should now be striving for a top-four finish. They are one of the most in-form teams in the competition and will start as favourite in all of their remaining matches but it is still a tricky run home against the emerging Bombers, inconsistent Saints, and quickly improving Kangaroos and Suns. The Swans will need to keep playing well and hope the Lions and Power slip up to claim the double chance. - Martin Pegan

The run home
R20: Essendon @ Marvel Stadium
R21: St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium
R22: North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium
R23: Gold Coast @ TBC

LADDER PREDICTOR Where will your club finish?

7. West Coast

40 points (10 wins, eight losses), 98.6 per cent
The Eagles strengthened their grip on a top-eight spot and proved they were "up for the fight" with a gritty eight-point win against St Kilda, importantly seeing off one of their competitors for the last two finals spots. Liam Ryan's hamstring injury is a blow for a team that is having soft tissue setbacks almost weekly. The Eagles will be favoured to beat Collingwood next week, but their low percentage right now means the job of securing a finals spot won't feel completely done if they win. Difficult games loom against Melbourne and Brisbane and the round 22 Western Derby shapes as a high stakes clash for both clubs with finals spots on the line. - Nathan Schmook

The run home
R20: Collingwood @ MCG
R21: Melbourne @ Optus Stadium
R22: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium
R23: Brisbane @ Gabba

8. Greater Western Sydney

34 points (eight wins, nine losses, one draw), 96.6 per cent
The Giants now have their finals destiny in their own hands, with their gritty 13-point victory over the Bombers on Sunday catapulting them inside the top eight. The bad news is they have a difficult run over the next fortnight, with matches against premiership fancies Port Adelaide and Geelong sure to test their September credentials. The good news is that they face winnable matches against Richmond and Carlton over the final two rounds, which loom as decisive for Leon Cameron's side. - Jonathan Healy

The run home
R20: Port Adelaide @ TBC
R21: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium
R22: Richmond @ TBC
R23: Carlton @ Marvel Stadium

LADDER PREDICTOR Where will your club finish?

9. Essendon

32 points (eight wins, 10 losses), 103.7 per cent
The Bombers missed a massive chance to strengthen their finals claims when they lost to the Giants on Sunday night and now face the prospect of a difficult run home and another year without September football. The Dons will probably need to snag an upset victory over the next fortnight against premiership fancies the Western Bulldogs and Sydney, while they have winnable matches in the final two rounds against Gold Coast and Collingwood. - Jonathan Healy

The run home
R20: Sydney @ Marvel Stadium
R21: Western Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium
R22: Gold Coast @ Metricon Stadium
R23: Collingwood @ MCG

10. Richmond

32 points (eight wins, 10 losses), 98.2 per cent
Richmond's finals chances are hanging by a thread. However, in better news for the reigning premiers, a rather soft run home lies in wait. The club won't face another top-six side for the remainder of the year, though will endure two difficult road trips against Fremantle and Greater Western Sydney. If it can split those – and beat the lowly North Melbourne and Hawthorn on its home deck at the MCG – the Tigers will still be a fighting chance to make September. Never rule them out. - Riley Beveridge

The run home
R20: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium
R21: North Melbourne @ MCG
R22: GWS Giants @ TBC
R23: Hawthorn @ MCG

10. Fremantle

32 points (eight wins, 10 losses), 90.3 per cent
The Dockers were unable to capitalise on their strong start against the Swans and, with a second consecutive loss and injuries to Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters, now look unlikely to finish in the top eight. A round 10 win over the Swans is still the only time the Dockers have beaten a team now sitting in the eight but to reignite their finals hopes they will have to find that sort of form against Richmond, Brisbane and West Coast in the coming weeks. Even if the Dockers win those three matches, their poor percentage means they will probably also need to beat St Kilda in round 23 to extend their season. - Martin Pegan

The run home
R20: Richmond @ Optus Stadium
R21: Brisbane @ Optus Stadium
R22: West Coast @ Optus Stadium
R23: St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium

LADDER PREDICTOR Where will your club finish?

11. St Kilda

32 points (eight wins, 10 losses), 86.9 per cent
Saturday's eight-point loss to West Coast was a hammer blow to the Saints' finals chances after a month-long run of good form. With the worst percentage of the teams still contending, they have left themselves with too much work to do, probably needing to win all four remaining games to make it. They'll be favoured to beat Carlton next week, but Sydney and Geelong back-to-back are significant challenges before a clash against a Fremantle team that could be playing for a finals spot itself. Rowan Marshall's return will be a massive boost and the Saints can't be discounted in any match with Max King in brilliant form. - Nathan Schmook

The run home
R20: Carlton @ Marvel Stadium
R21: Sydney @ TBC
R22: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium
R23: Fremantle @ Marvel Stadium

12. Carlton

28 points (seven wins, 11 losses), 91.9 per cent
The Blues' faint finals hopes were all but extinguished with Saturday's dismal loss to North Melbourne. Remarkably, they are still a mathematical chance but it ain't happening. - Ben Sutton

The run home
R20: St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium
R21: Gold Coast @ Marvel Stadium
R22: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R23: GWS Giants @ Marvel Stadium