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  1. Good news everyone, I found my crystal ball and you can take out a second mortgage and put the house on my predictions. No seriously I was reading the Death Riding thread, and I thought it would be fun to predict other teams likely to fall from the 8. (This also supposes teams below them improve, not a given). For mine, the top 4 will all be in the 8 next year, I genuinely believe we have recruited well and our forward craft will improve. We survived our 'tall poppy' year of media sniping the coach and board room shenanigans (thanks so much ex prez). Geelong from the top 4 is closest to dropping out of top 4, but not going to hold my breath, I think they rely on Tom Stewart, the same way Salem is integral for the Dee's distribution off HB. I think we can now cover Salem going down better than they can cope with the loss of Stewart, I just don't think the Cats bat as deep as we do, and will be susceptible to injuries after such a brilliant '22 campaign (yes I feel dirty typing that), but they are brilliantly coached (Scott demonstrated his willingness to throw away his game plan and change everything in a single off season (and did what we did with the wings) and have a beautiful game, MFC v GFC will be one the heavy weight games next season. People picking Collingwood to fall because they 'tin ar$ed' some close finishes are dreaming, brilliant run, unified team, the Daicos's play like they have a PS5 cheat code, excellent defense and transition, smart coach, and on the other side of that salary cap debacle. They do need Sidebottom to have a good season though now Pendlebury and Grundy have left. I do think however that Grawny will monster them and we'll do them over with better conversion. Swans are not going anywhere unless the sky falls on Horse (and I hope it doesn't). Anyway this is about who is going to fall from Heaven... Richmond to fall like Lucifer, the media narrative around Dusty is not sustained by facts, he has had some devastating injuries, Messi, who just had the world's best Indian summer has never had the damage Dusty has, he might be fit, but he has a catalogue of soft tissue injuries that are going to cruel him the way Wayne Carey fell off, the instincts/skill will be there but the execution will fail. And even with adding Hopper and Taranto (they recruit well) I see defensive gaps, Grimes is not properly fit and nothing in Grimes pre season suggests he is going to come back as the gun defender he has been. I don't see the defensive ability that they had during their premiership years. Also teams that are not in contention for the 8 or on the border of it will all take more games from the top 8 teams this year, much shorter gap between the haves and have nots. Fremantle my second tip to drop from the 8, though they don't really inspire great emotion in anyone except in their supporters do they? As @Binman wrote in the death riding thread, Jackson just doesn't seem to make the sense he would to other sides with what they (Freo) had already, and what he brings, he's not kicking 50. They have the worst attack and I think are undersized for repeat finals campaigns. They rely on the brilliant, brave, Brayshaw too much, he's become a bit of Cripps, everyone jumps on his back. Fyfe who I adore, is not going to become a 40 goal player either, If I take my rose-coloured glasses off, I don't see the explosiveness into space that he will need with the leg injuries he has had. Would love to be wrong about Fyfe, through no fault of his own he has not had the career I had hoped he would have. I expect early wins from Freo but by the bye falling away. Lions despite their really good attack, I think this club has a leadership vacuum on field that will affect 2023, not just because Zorko is a nong I don't like, but because I don't get the impression that his team mates like him that much either. When I look at the last 20 years of premiers, the Captains really stand out, would you put Zorko next to a Gawn, Cotchin, Hurn, Mitchell, Hodge, Maxwell, Voss, even Murphy, you get my drift. Of those to replace Zorko, Harris's record as a clutch player is not there, Lachie is a gun without a doubt, but not a leader and when he's tagged out of a game, doesn't compensate. Dunkley might be a good choice for 2024 though. Anyway 2023 is their '2019', I am predicting Brissey to have one down year, with some pressure on the coach but I think 2024 will be a much better year for them. They have recruited really well and will 'surprise' everyone with a 2024 when Ashcroft and Fletcher have a big impact. They are 3rd team i see as a good chance to miss. The Dogs ... I know some folks think Beveridge has lost the plot, about to lose the plot or is otherwise NQR, but I see a team that has addressed some structural deficiencies very well with it's recruiting. Liam Jones will do wonders for the Dogs, If I was a Carlton fan I would be bleeding. Jones more than covers for Easton Woods. They have experience coping with the departure of key players, they recruit well, the big unknown is which Libba turns up, he needs to be on, if his mindset is not right they won't match the other gun midfields, but on balance I see the dogs more likely to stay up than the other 3 teams highlighted. The contenders I am bullish on the Suns if they get a fair crack with injury. Power, a good draw, some good recruits, not too many injuries like last year, they are not as bad a team as the form of 2022 suggests. I think Hinkley has good support although his game day stuff could improve. Never going to be premiers but 8-5 is their natural range. I suppose I have to say Carlton is a prospect, on paper they look good and I think Voss will fix the stuff between the ears. Not really interested in writing why they are good they just annoy me so much. My top 8 - (not attached to finishing position) Melbourne Geelong Cats Sydney Swans Collingwood Western Bulldogs Carlton Port Adelaide Gold Coast Suns The Ladder - Bold are my locks for the 8, italics are the sliders. 1 Geelong Cats 22 72 144.2 18 4 0 2146 1488 2 Melbourne 22 64 130.5 16 6 0 1936 1483 3 Sydney Swans 22 64 127.9 16 6 0 2067 1616 4 Collingwood 22 64 104.3 16 6 0 1839 1763 5 Fremantle 22 62 117 15 6 1 1739 1486 6 Brisbane Lions 22 60 119.3 15 7 0 2147 1799 7 Richmond 22 54 121.6 13 8 1 2165 1780 8 Western Bulldogs 22 48 108.9 12 10 0 1973 1812 9 Carlton 22 48 108.3 12 10 0 1857 1714 10 St Kilda 22 44 99.3 11 11 0 1703 1715 11 Port Adelaide 22 40 110.3 10 12 0 1806 1638 12 Gold Coast Suns 22 40 102.8 10 12 0 1871 1820 13 Hawthorn 22 32 89.8 8 14 0 1787 1991 14 Adelaide Crows 22 32 86.7 8 14 0 1721 1986 15 Essendon 22 28 83.2 7 15 0 1737 2087 16 GWS Giants 22 24 84.6 6 16 0 1631 1927 17 WC Eagles 22 8 59.8 2 20 0 1429 2389 18 Nth Melbourne 22 8 55.8 2 20 0 1337 2397 2397
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