Finals are nearly upon us once again, at least they are if you barrack for a decent side. If you barrack for Carlton it’s situation normal but perhaps this is the last time for a while that the Old Dark Navy Blues are spectators come September. Someone else who will be spectating, at least from a tipping point of view is yours truly who has been well, Rubbish really for much of the second half of the year. Anyway, here’s my latest feeble attempt at racking up a few tips.

Western Bulldogs vs. Essendon Telstra Dome

The Dons are shot and the Dogs will feast on what is left of the Bombers who are racked by injury. If the Bullies can’t beat the Bombers here they won’t be much of a threat to the flag as Essendon are staggering towards the finish rather than charging home. The latest round of injuries have severely limited the amount of big man strength that Essendon can field in this match and it will be a good chance for the Bullies to live up to their name. The Dogs will win this one comfortably. If they can’t, expect Hawthorn to win comfortably in a fortnight.

Western Bulldogs by 57 points

Richmond vs. Fremantle MCG

The Tigers bold run at ninth spot will continue this week against the Fremantle Roadkill that returned to its normal form with a feeble second half against St Kilda at home last week. The Tigers are jumping out of their skin after finally recording a win against a top eight side and should have no trouble with the Dockers who haven’t given much of a yelp away from Putriaco all season. With Foley back to assist in the midfield expect the Tiges to roll over the Dockers here.

Richmond by 31 points

Port vs. Melbourne AAMI Stadium

Port showed improved form last week but will they be able to reproduce the same care factor against the last placed Demons? That is the wooden question this week that Dees fans must ask themselves because all of a sudden Melbourne are a team that has something to play for. Melbourne’s record at AAMI (and interstate generally) has been shocking for several years with some absolute pantsings along the way. Melbourne will get closer this week but I expect Kornes and S Burgoyne to create a bit of havoc and provide the dwindling Port faithful with a rare win.

Port by 17 points

Brisbane vs. Carlton GABBA

It will be lights out for the Blues here as the Lions simply can’t afford to drop this home game if they expect to feature in September. The Lions haven’t lost to the Blues now for eight seasons and I don’t think that will change this week. While the Blues kick it almost exclusively to the Fev they will continue to be on the outside looking in and the Lions having the benefit of two targets and the home ground crowd will rack yet another win against the Blues and put real pressure on the top eight.

Brisbane by 28 points

Collingwood vs. Sydney Telstra Dome

The Swans will break their Pie hoodoo at Telstra Dome on Saturday night. With Barry Hall and Adam Goodes up forward and Ryan O’Keefe chomping at the bit to get out of a form slump I reckon they have the cattle to put the Pies out to pasture this week. Collingwood have done well to record victories without Heath Shaw, Rheece Shaw and Alan Didak but this week they also have doubts over the skipper and Dale Thomas will be out as well. The Swans will be snarling for revenge and they will get it this weekend.

Sydney by 11 points

Geelong vs. North Melbourne Cat Park

Cat Park has been a happy hunting ground for the Roos in recent times but this year the Cats should not fall into the habit of disrespecting North Melbourne. The Roos have been wailing for respect all year and have assualted the senses this week with a media blitz while the Cats remain ominously silent. The Roos are in red hot form and this is a perfect clash for the reigning premiers to fine tune the football machine that is GFC while for the Roos this is the match they need to stake a claim for fourth spot and possibly beyond. The Roos will give the Cats a real shake here as a few from the Cattery are coming off not much football. Also, the Roos put their heads over the ball like no other side that meets Geelong. North might not be respected at times in the wider football community but I’m fairly sure that Geelong do respect North and this will result in a solid hit out for both sides and a rare tight Geelong victory.

Geelong by 9 points

St Kilda vs. Adelaide Telstra Dome

Phew this one is toughie as both teams clearly suck ha ha. No seriously, both teams can be very unpredicatable especially the bloody Saints. The Crows have been on a winning run but I reckon Craig is plucking something out of you know where to construct a winning score. How much longer can The Professor come up with the winning formula? I reckon the Saints might have the answer here. They have won six of their last eight and at telstra dome the Alpacca will take some stopping. I’m still not convinced by the Blackbirds so like a fool I’m going to select the Saints with absolutely no confidence what so ever.

St Kilda by 10 points

West Coast vs. Hawthorn Subiaco

Woosha showed this week that comedy is not a dying art with his indignant protestations in relations to tanking but alas Jonathon the proof is in the pudding! The Hawks have lost their way in the last eleven weeks with a 6-5 record that suggests they have slipped in recent times. Jarrad Roughead and Mark Williams would have spent the week in the supermarket buying toothpaste as their bad breath may be a reason why their team mates failed to kick the ball to them against the Tigers. With this improved dental health regimen, expect the Hawks to share the load this week and put the bite on the Eagles who only have two more weeks to go. Tanks for the memories!

Hawthorn by 64 points