COLLINGWOOD and Gold Coast are in prime position to complete improbable runs to September, with two of the easier remaining fixtures this season.

And as the season ticks just past its halfway point, Geelong looks almost assured of a top-four finish with an equally generous run of fixtures ahead of the finals.

The second half of the year can often be about sorting out an already-formed top eight, with perhaps one spot still up for grabs, but an AFL.com.au deep-dive into the remaining rounds shows 2022 is a little different.

>> SCROLL DOWN FOR EVERY CLUB'S RUN HOME
>> CHECK OUT THEIR RECORD SO FAR AGAINST THE TOP EIGHT

The minor premiership is up for grabs, Fremantle looks the real deal on exposed form against top teams, while St Kilda and Carlton fans might be a little nervous – but we'll get to that a little later.

Let’s start with the Magpies, who are having an unexpectedly strong revival under new coach Craig McRae.

Brody Mihocek and coach Craig McRae after Collingwood's win over Hawthorn in round 11, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

They’ve just moved into eighth – albeit having played one more game than round 13 combatants Richmond and Port Adelaide – and they face six teams currently outside finals positions in their remaining 10 games.

The door to September is well and truly open.

Starting with Melbourne in the Queen’s Birthday Monday match, Collingwood will want to make hay in the coming weeks, as it finishes its campaign against the Demons again, Sydney and Carlton.

The Pies' round 16 match against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium could be pivotal for both teams, as the Suns also have a golden opportunity to make finals for the first time in club history.

Currently boasting a 6-6 record, Stuart Dew’s men have already played seven of the current top-eight teams, winning three times.

Izak Rankine (right) celebrates a goal with his teammates during Gold Coast's win over North Melbourne in round 12. Picture: AFL Photos

Following this weekend’s bye, they face the Magpies in round 16, Brisbane in round 19 and Geelong in round 22. Gold Coast's remaining seven games are all against sides outside the top eight, including return clashes with struggling North and West Coast.

The Cats have again positioned themselves for another double chance.

Although being just so-so against other finals contenders to date (2-3), they have only three more matches against current top-eight teams to come.

Almost as intriguing as the race for finals berths over the coming 11 weeks is the fight for the minor premiership.

Melbourne had one hand on top spot a fortnight ago, but following losses against Fremantle and Sydney, the race is now wide open.

The reigning premier faces seven top-eight teams in the final 10 weeks, the equal-most in the competition.

Max Gawn leads the Demons from the field after their loss to Sydney in round 12, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Starting with Collingwood on Monday, the Demons also face Brisbane twice and Fremantle at Optus Stadium on the run home.

The Dockers have proved their credentials against fellow contenders, beating top-two Brisbane and Melbourne in the past fortnight and earning a 4-2 record against current finalists.

The team that has arguably as tough a run as Melbourne is St Kilda, which faces the Lions, Sydney, Carlton and Freo in the next five rounds in a stretch that could shape their season.

Carlton is another big improver in 2022 that still has a lot to prove, particularly with an injury list as long as any in the AFL.

MEDICAL ROOM Check out the full injury list

The Blues play each team currently in the top four in the next 10 weeks.

Charlie Curnow celebrates a goal against Collingwood in round 11, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

Although a lot can change week to week, the minor premiership, top four and top eight spots are all very much in play at the moment.

One final thing to note is that rounds 21, 22 and 23 have an absolute feast of matches between the current top-eight teams.

Brisbane against Carlton, Geelong v St Kilda, Sydney v Collingwood, Melbourne at the Lions and a Carlton-Collingwood blockbuster all promise to alter the way the top eight is currently structured.

Who's got the toughest run home? 

Pos

Name

Wins
v top 8

Losses
v top 8

%
v top 8

To come
v top 8

To come
v bottom 10

1

Melbourne

1

2

94.59

7

3

2

Brisbane Lions

2

2

102.00

5

5

3

Fremantle

4

2

110.60

4

6

4

Geelong

2

3

95.32

3

7

5

St Kilda

2

2

89.39

7

4

6

Sydney

2

2

100.9

4

6

7

Carlton

1

2

90.87

6

5

8

Collingwood

3

2

109.10

4

6

9

Western Bulldogs

2

3

102.00

6

4

10

Richmond

1

4

87.86

4

7

11

Gold Coast

3

4

93.71

3

7

12

Port Adelaide

1

4

78.14

5

6

13

Hawthorn

2

5

84.12

2

8

14

Adelaide

0

6

67.69

4

6

15

GWS Giants

0

7

66.43

5

6

16

Essendon

0

6

63.38

5

6

17

North Melbourne

0

7

47.95

3

7

18

West Coast

1

4

50.58

5

5

 

Who your club plays

Pos

Name

R13

R14

R15

R16

R17

R18

R19

R20

R21

R22

R23

1

Melbourne

COLL

 

BRIS

ADEL

GEEL

PORT

WBD

FREM

COLL

CARL

BRIS

2

Brisbane Lions

STK

 

MELB

WBD

ESS

GWS

GCS

RICH

CARL

STK

MELB

3

Fremantle

HAW

 

CARL

PORT

STK

SYD

RICH

MELB

WBD

WCE

GWS

4

Geelong

 

WCE

RICH

NTH

MELB

CARL

PORT

WBD

STK

GCS

WCE

5

St Kilda

BRIS

ESS

SYD

CARL

FREM

WBD

WCE

HAW

GEEL

BRIS

SYD

6

Sydney

 

PORT

STK

ESS

WBD

FREM

ADEL

GWS

NTH

COLL

STK

7

Carlton

ESS

RICH

FREM

STK

WCE

GEEL

GWS

ADEL

BRIS

MELB

COLL

8

Collingwood

MELB

 

GWS

GCS

NTH

ADEL

ESS

PORT

MELB

SYD

CARL

9

Western Bulldogs

 

GWS

HAW

BRIS

SYD

STK

MELB

GEEL

FREM

GWS

HAW

10

Richmond

PORT

CARL

GEEL

WCE

GCS

NTH

FREM

BRIS

PORT

HAW

ESS

11

Gold Coast

 

ADEL

PORT

COLL

RICH

ESS

BRIS

WCE

HAW

GEEL

NTH

12

Port Adelaide

RICH

SYD

GCS

FREM

GWS

MELB

GEEL

COLL

RICH

ESS

ADEL

13

Hawthorn

FREM

 

WBD

GWS

ADEL

WCE

NTH

STK

GCS

RICH

WBD

14

Adelaide

 

GCS

NTH

MELB

HAW

COLL

SYD

CARL

WCE

NTH

PORT

15

GWS Giants

NTH

WBD

COLL

HAW

PORT

BRIS

CARL

SYD

ESS

WBD

FREM

16

Essendon

CARL

STK

WCE

SYD

BRIS

GCS

COLL

NTH

GWS

PORT

RICH

17

North Melbourne

GWS

 

ADEL

GEEL

COLL

RICH

HAW

ESS

SYD

ADEL

GCS

18

West Coast

 

GEEL

ESS

RICH

CARL

HAW

STK

GCS

ADEL

FREM

GEEL