Jamarra Ugle-Hagan celebrates a goal with teammates during the match between the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle at Marvel Stadium in round 16, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

EIGHT rounds to play, eight finals spots available, 15 teams left in the race. Not everyone's going to be happy. Welcome back to The Run Home for another thrilling conclusion to the season.

The Western Bulldogs and Adelaide made no mistake in their bids to finish in the top eight, recording wins over Fremantle and North Melbourne, respectively.

Melbourne's loss to Greater Western Sydney has the Bulldogs dreaming of the top four, while the Giants are back in the finals hunt.

WHO MAKES FINALS? Play the Ladder Predictor NOW

Essendon's heartbreaking defeat and Geelong's draw with Sydney leaves spots up for grabs, with Carlton's thrashing of Hawthorn also boosting its chances.

Who's in the box seat, and who's facing an uphill battle to finish inside the eight? Check out your club's finish to the season below.

Hawthorn, North Melbourne and West Coast have not been considered.


1. Collingwood

52 points (13 wins, two losses), 138.8 per cent
There's still eight rounds to go, but the Magpies took a huge step to securing a top-two position with their hammering of Gold Coast on Saturday. Some tricky matches lie ahead, but the real mouth-watering encounters come in round 19 and 23 against second-placed Port Adelaide and third-placed Brisbane respectively. The match against Port is the only time the Pies leave Melbourne on the run home. - Michael Whiting

The run home
R17: Western Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium
R18: Fremantle @ MCG
R19: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R20: Carlton @ MCG
R21: Hawthorn @ MCG
R22: Geelong @ MCG
R23: Brisbane @ Marvel Stadium
R24: Essendon @ MCG


2. Port Adelaide

52 points (13 wins, two losses), 118.4 per cent
It's all about a top-two spot for the Power, who have an eight-point buffer on third-placed Brisbane following Saturday night's thrilling win over Essendon, along with two games they'd expect to win in the next fortnight against Gold Coast at home followed by Carlton away. However, Port has an awkward run from rounds 19 to 21 against ladder leader Collingwood at home, followed by bitter rival Adelaide - which beat it earlier this year - and then reigning premies Geelong at GMHBA Stadium. Winning two of those three will go a long way towards clinching a top-two berth. - Ben Somerford

The run home
R17: Gold Coast @ Adelaide Oval
R18: Carlton @ Marvel Stadium
R19: Collingwood @ Adelaide Oval
R20: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R21: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium
R22: Greater Western Sydney @ Adelaide Oval
R23: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium
R24: Richmond @ Adelaide Oval


3. Brisbane

44 points (11 wins, four losses), 127.2 per cent
The Lions are in a great position to wrap up a spot in the top four, but there's still some tough tests ahead. After they dispose of West Coast next weekend, we should learn more about their genuine premiership credentials in back-to-back matches with Melbourne and Geelong. The final three rounds are against teams currently in the top eight, with the round 23 blockbuster against Collingwood a possible finals preview. - Michael Whiting

The run home
R17: West Coast @ Gabba
R18: Melbourne @ MCG
R19: Geelong @ Gabba
R20: Gold Coast @ Heritage Bank Stadium
R21: Fremantle @ Optus Stadium
R22: Adelaide @ Gabba
R23: Collingwood @ Marvel Stadium
R24: St Kilda @ Gabba


4. Melbourne

36 points (nine wins, six losses), 126.9 per cent
It was only a few weeks ago that the Demons were sitting pretty in the top four, but a fourth loss in six matches has brought them right back to the pack. Despite their shock loss to GWS, they are still holding onto fourth spot but are eight points behind third-placed Brisbane and only ahead of fifth-placed St Kilda and sixth-placed Western Bulldogs by percentage. With matches against most of the sides around them coming up, the next month is critical. It starts next week with St Kilda at Marvel Stadium as the Demons try to regain the buffer that will secure the double chance come September. - Alison O'Connor

The run home
R17: St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium
R18: Brisbane @ MCG
R19: Adelaide @ MCG
R20: Richmond @ MCG
R21: North Melbourne @ Blundstone Arena
R22: Carlton @ MCG
R23: Hawthorn @ MCG
R24: Sydney @ SCG


5. St Kilda

36 points (nine wins, six losses), 109.3 per cent
An expected, albeit difficult, win against West Coast allowed the Saints to retain fifth spot, where they had sat for the previous seven weeks, despite a 3-4 record over that period. Matches against Melbourne (Marvel Stadium) and Gold Coast (Heritage Bank Stadium) will threaten their position, however, before a month against North Melbourne, Hawthorn, Carlton and Richmond, which could see their top-eight spot secured before the last two weeks of the season against Geelong and Brisbane. The Saints haven't won back-to-back games since their 4-0 start to the season and will need to improve their consistency over the upcoming period to lock away a finals spot. - Nathan Schmook

The run home
R17: Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium
R18: Gold Coast @ Heritage Bank Stadium
R19: North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium
R20: Hawthorn @ Marvel Stadium
R21: Carlton @ Marvel Stadium
R22: Richmond @ Marvel Stadium
R23: Geelong @ Marvel Stadium
R24: Brisbane @ Gabba


6. Western Bulldogs

36 points (nine wins, six losses), 105.2 per cent
The Bulldogs remain well and truly in touch with the top four after an important win over Fremantle. They've also given themselves a bit of a buffer from dropping out of the top eight. Collingwood next week poses the toughest of challenges, while the Dogs should back themselves against Sydney and Essendon, although they may be close-run games. A much more straightforward month follows, aided by playing Richmond at its least favourite ground, but Geelong in Geelong is a less-than-ideal finish. - Sarah Black

The run home
R17: Collingwood @ Marvel Stadium
R18: Sydney @ SCG
R19: Essendon @ Marvel Stadium
R20: Greater Western Sydney @ Mars Stadium
R21: Richmond @ Marvel Stadium
R22: Hawthorn @ University of Tasmania Stadium
R23: West Coast @ Marvel Stadium
R24: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium


7. Adelaide

32 points (eight wins, seven losses), 119.6 per cent
The Crows have ended the round inside the top eight and are daring to dream about finals, but a tough few weeks stand between them and September. With matches against top-four teams Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Brisbane to come, Adelaide will need to bank the wins where it can, with next week's match against fellow finals aspirant Essendon looming as a very important one. The Crows should start as favourites against West Coast, Greater Western Sydney, Sydney and Gold Coast but the pressure will be on to bank those wins given the difficulty of their draw. – Sophie Welsh

The run home
R17: Essendon @ Marvel Stadium
R18: Greater Western Sydney @ Adelaide Oval
R19: Melbourne @ MCG
R20: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R21: Gold Coast @ Adelaide Oval
R22: Brisbane @ Gabba
R23: Sydney @ Adelaide Oval
R24: West Coast @ Optus Stadium


8. Essendon

32 points (eight wins, seven losses), 106.2 per cent
After Saturday night's heartbreaking loss to Port, there's little margin for error for the Bombers who face a season-defining stretch of four games over the next month against four fellow top-eight hopefuls with ruckman Sam Draper's availability unclear amid that span. In Essendon's favour is that five of their next six games are at Marvel Stadium, where they have a 3-0 record this year. Next weekend's clash with Adelaide, who are also currently on 32 points, will have significant finals implications for both sides. If the Dons lose that, the pressure will be on with a trip to Geelong to follow. - Ben Somerford

The run home
R17: Adelaide @ Marvel Stadium
R18: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium
R19: Western Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium
R20: Sydney @ Marvel Stadium
R21: West Coast @ Marvel Stadium
R22: North Melbourne @ Marvel Stadium
R23: Greater Western Sydney @ Giants Stadium
R24: Collingwood @ MCG


9. Geelong

30 points (seven wins, seven losses, one draw), 113.5 per cent
The Cats have remained within reach of the top eight despite bagging just two points against the Swans. They face a tricky run, however, with Essendon, Brisbane, Fremantle and Port Adelaide to come after next week's match against North Melbourne. Arguably needing at least five more wins if they are to make finals, the Cats will need to win at least three of that run to stay a realistic chance. What is handy, however, is that they will travel just once over that stretch. – Gemma Bastiani

WHO MAKES FINALS? Play the Ladder Predictor NOW

The run home
R17: North Melbourne @ GMHBA Stadium
R18: Essendon @ GMHBA Stadium
R19: Brisbane @ Gabba
R20: Fremantle @ GMHBA Stadium
R21: Port Adelaide @ GMHBA Stadium
R22: Collingwood @ MCG
R23: St Kilda @ Marvel Stadium
R24: Western Bulldogs @ GMHBA Stadium


10. Greater Western Sydney

28 points (seven wins, eight losses), 97.3 per cent
They were the unlikeliest of finalists at the start of the season, but after their third win on the bounce the Giants have surged into 10th spot on the ladder and have a finals berth in their sights. They sit just four points out of the eight and with games against lowly Hawthorn and an inconsistent Gold Coast coming up over the next three weeks, the Giants could break into the top eight sooner than expected. They do face a tough run home, with trips to SA to face Adelaide and Port Adelaide and games against rivals Sydney and the Western Bulldogs awaiting the Giants before the season's end. - Alison O'Connor

The run home
R17: Hawthorn @ Giants Stadium
R18: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R19: Gold Coast @ Manuka Oval
R20: Western Bulldogs @ Mars Stadium
R21: Sydney @ Giants Stadium
R22: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R23: Essendon @ Giants Stadium
R24: Carlton @ Marvel Stadium


11. Fremantle

28 points (seven wins, eight losses), 95.2 per cent
The Dockers have made life just that little bit tougher for themselves after letting a fourth-quarter lead slip against the Bulldogs. They remain four points adrift of the top eight, and have three road trips to come – two games at the MCG, and one against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium. Carlton at home next week poses an interesting test, and a loss there would make life quite difficult, particularly with Collingwood to follow. Fremantle will be happy to get Brisbane on its home deck, and should earmark the Western Derby as a percentage-boosting game - Sarah Black

The run home
R17: Carlton @ Optus Stadium
R18: Collingwood @ MCG
R19: Sydney @ Optus Stadium
R20: Geelong @ GMHBA Stadium
R21: Brisbane @ Optus Stadium
R22: West Coast @ Optus Stadium
R23: Port Adelaide @ Optus Stadium
R24: Hawthorn @ MCG


12. Gold Coast

28 points (seven wins, eight losses), 94.5 per cent
Just when you think the Suns are about to surge towards a maiden finals appearance, they lay an egg like Saturday night's disaster against Collingwood. They could slip even further away from the top eight this week with a trip to face Port Adelaide, which is on a 12-match winning streak. In all likelihood, Stuart Dew's team needs to win six of its final eight matches to create history – a tall order, but not an impossible one if they're good enough. - Michael Whiting

The run home
R17: Port Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R18: St Kilda @ Heritage Bank Stadium
R19: Greater Western Sydney @ Manuka Oval
R20: Brisbane @ Heritage Bank Stadium
R21: Adelaide @ Adelaide Oval
R22: Sydney @ SCG
R23: Carlton @ Heritage Bank Stadium
R24: North Melbourne @ Blundstone Arena


13. Sydney

26 points (six wins, eight losses, one draw), 112.7 per cent
In Friday's draw with the Cats, the Swans have missed a golden opportunity to stay in the hunt for finals. They are still a game and a half out o