MELBOURNE'S difficult run home will see the premier miss the top four, according to our reporters, who predict a Grand Final rematch in the opening week of the finals.

The Demons started the season with 10 straight wins, but have slipped to 13-5 with four rounds remaining.

Melbourne faces top-eight sides Fremantle, Collingwood, Carlton and Brisbane in its final four games and's reporters collectively predict the Dees will miss the top four. 


There is hope for the Dees, with Cal Twomey, Michael Whiting and Sarah Black predicting them to finish in the top four at the end of the home and away season.

A fifth-place finish would set up a mouth-watering elimination final between the Demons and Western Bulldogs, who played out a thriller in round 19.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan celebrates a goal for the Western Bulldogs against Melbourne in R19, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

The Dogs' surprise win over Melbourne at Marvel Stadium was a huge boost to their finals chances, and our reporters have Luke Beveridge's team finishing eighth.

Richmond's draw with Fremantle in round 19 proved costly as the Tigers missed the eight.

High-flying Geelong was a unanimous minor premier and the Cats could face the Dockers in a qualifying final. Fremantle is one of four teams to beat Chris Scott's side this year, and that win came at GMHBA Stadium.

LADDER PREDICTOR Where will your club finish?

Should the remainder of the home and away season pan out as predicted by our reporters, arch rivals Carlton and Collingwood would meet not only in round 23, but in an elimination final.

Brisbane, which faces Richmond, Carlton, St Kilda and Melbourne to finish the home and away season, would host Sydney in a qualifying final.

Our reporters' predicted final ladder

1. Geelong
2. Brisbane
3. Sydney
4. Fremantle
5. Melbourne
6. Carlton
7. Collingwood
8. Western Bulldogs

9. Richmond
10. Port Adelaide
11. St Kilda
12. Gold Coast
13. Hawthorn
14. Essendon
15. Adelaide
16. Greater Western Sydney
17. West Coast
18. North Melbourne