Patrick Cripps of the Blues.
Patrick Cripps of the Blues.

How many games will your club win in 2020?

WILL Essendon's 2020 season be a replay of Melbourne's 2019 disaster?

The Bombers' run of pre-season injuries has a familiar feeling to the long list of summer surgeries that derailed the Demons' campaign before it even started.

Which teams rise and fall in 2020? Gilbert Gardiner and Jay Clark make the big calls on your club.

 

ADELAIDE CROWS

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 8.5 wins

Where's Brad Crouch's head at? If he and his brother Matt are invested alongside new captain Rory Sloane, they will be good enough for nine wins. Alex Keath the only departure who really hurts.

GIL'S TIP: Over 8.5

Might as well relocate to Tasmania if they win less. Lost a couple some foot soldiers in the off-season but new coach and new ideas should deliver a spike at West Lakes.

Last season: 10 wins

Can captain Rory Sloane lead the Crows back up the ladder?
Can captain Rory Sloane lead the Crows back up the ladder?

BRISBANE LIONS

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 12.5 wins

No reason why that core group of youngsters doesn't take another step forward up at the Gabba fortress. Eric Hipwood, Harris Andrews, Hugh McCluggage and (have faith) Cameron Rayner should win a flag at some point if they stay together.

GIL'S TIP: Over 12.5

A tougher draw in 2020 should keep the emerging Lion cubs honest after they surged with a bullet last season, but 12.5 certainly in the wheelhouse. Lachie Neale a huge Brownlow Medal threat.

Last season: 16 wins

 

CARLTON

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 8.5 wins

You worry about them if Patrick Cripps goes down injured and Charlie Curnow's knee is an early-season setback. But now that the shackles are off under a new coach, surely, the Blues can pile on some big scores with the talent they have. Sam Docherty a huge return.

GIL'S TIP: Over 8.5 wins

No more green shoots and horticultural references, 2020 demands improvement at Princes Park. With stars and experience on every line, it should only be a matter of keeping players on the park for rookie coach David Teague. Finals? Maybe a bridge too far, but 10 wins has to be the target.

Last season: 7 wins

Patrick Cripps is hoping to play finals for the first time in his seven-year career.
Patrick Cripps is hoping to play finals for the first time in his seven-year career.

COLLINGWOOD

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 13.5 wins

If they can get their full team out there for a decent chunk of the year, the Pies can finish top-two. Jordan De Goey and Darcy Moore are All-Australian contenders when fit but they need to settle down a key forward structure which works. Big year for Mason Cox.

GIL'S TIP: Under 13.5 wins

Is this the step back to then take a giant leap forward? After 16 and 17 wins the past two seasons just wonder if the Magpies drop back into the pack (12-13 wins) a touch with the midfield another year older and question marks around the attack's durability and consistency.

Last season: 15 wins

 

ESSENDON

CLARKY'S TIP: Under 10.5 wins

There will be lots of underdone Bombers early in the campaign after all the post-season surgeries. No one knows when Joe Daniher will be back, Cale Hooker had a late hip problem and can Jacob Townsend fill that inside midfield role? Some wins flattered them last year.

GIL'S TIP: Under 10.5 wins

Just can't get past the alarming number of off-season injury setbacks, which only compounds the uncertainty around spearhead Joe Daniher. We saw what happened to Melbourne last season and expect history to repeat.

Last season wins: 12

 

What role will ex-Tiger Jacob Townsend play at the Bombers? Picture: Sarah Matray
What role will ex-Tiger Jacob Townsend play at the Bombers? Picture: Sarah Matray

 

FREMANTLE

CLARKY'S TIP: Under 8.5 wins

One of the best bets. The Dockers are rebuilding and will use this season to bed down a game plan and develop the young talent under new coach Justin Longmuir. Lost Ed Langdon and Brad Hill. Well under.

GIL'S TIP: Under 8.5

I just don't know where (if any) improvement will come? Drafted for the future after losing a bit of experience in the off-season, it really wouldn't shock to see the Dockers contend for the spoon.

Last season: 9 wins

 

GEELONG

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 12.5 wins

The Cats will again win the bulk of their home games, and split the others to make the finals again. Jack Steven was on fire on the track before nicking his calf and there is growing confidence in the younger group. Not a spent force.

GIL'S TIP: Over 12.5 wins

The best home ground advantage in the competition gives Geelong a hefty leg up. Will be thereabouts in the top four again, in what looks a make or break season for Chris Scott's team.

Last season: 16 wins

Gary Ablett might have only one more shot at winning a third premiership.
Gary Ablett might have only one more shot at winning a third premiership.

GOLD COAST SUNS

CLARKY'S TIP: Under 4.5 wins

Still three years away from being any good. Importantly, the club is on the right track and this latest bunch of kids seems committed to the journey. Will sneak a couple of wins in but doubt there will be five of them.

GIL'S TIP: Under 4.5

City Hall needs improvement at the Glitter Strip but hard to see Gold Coast being competitive against anyone for long enough to win five games.

Last season: 3 wins

 

GWS GIANTS

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 13.5 wins

Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio and Lachie Whitfield will tear up some rivals this year to lock down a top-four berth. Showed plenty of ticker in that preliminary final win and definitely worth buying the Giants' stock at this price.

GIL'S TIP: Over 13.5

Been ridiculously unlucky the past couple of years losing guns to injury yet still having the firepower to qualify for September action. They got a taste of the big dance last year and expect the Giants to get back there again in 2020.

Last season: 13 wins

 

HAWTHORN

CLARKY'S TIP: Under 11.5 wins

Still amazes how they stunned West Coast away in Round 23 last year to finish the year on an incredibly high note. Still, not even Alastair Clarkson could say for sure how the Hawks are going to go this year. This line is right on the money.

GIL'S TIP: Under 11.5 wins

Tricky with a capital T. It wouldn't shock to see premiership mastermind Al Clarkson find a way to get the Hawks in the top half of the ladder but in the same breath, a 9th-13th finish would be just as likely. Will be around the mark.

Last season: 11 wins

Don’t write off coaching genius Alastair Clarkson.
Don’t write off coaching genius Alastair Clarkson.

MELBOURNE

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 11.5 wins

Simon Goodwin cannot afford another five-win season. This side is a lot better than that, when you look at the midfield quality. The big names just need to run two ways and show more composure inside 50m. Physically and mentally a lot sharper than this time last year. Make Max Gawn captain.

GIL'S TIP: Over 11.5 wins

Too bad to be true last season and with a softer draw in 2020 (third-easiest according to Champion Data) should be able to eat into the 11.5 wins quickly. Should be playing finals.

Last season: 5 wins

 

NORTH MELBOURNE

CLARKY'S TIP: Under 10.5 wins

The Roos have punched above their weight class for a long time, and are competitive in almost every match, to their credit. But it will be the coaching performance of the year if Rhyce Shaw can lift the Roos into the eight in 2020.

GIL'S TIP: Over 10.5 wins

Had no business winning 10 games last year then Shinboner whisperer Rhyce Shaw reinvigorated Arden St. There is enough talent on the list to flirt with a top-eight finish.

Last season: 10 wins

 

PORT ADELAIDE

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 10.5 wins

They have been one of the most untrustworthy, if not the most disappointing, team of the past few years. But I'm giving Port one more chance to deliver with the talent they have. Otherwise Kochie will be trying to fire everyone on his morning TV show in the back half of the season.

GIL'S TIP: Under 10.5 wins.

More chance of winning Powerball than predicting Port's future. Flip a coin.

Last season: 11 wins

Can Dustin Martin make it Tiger time again in 2020? Picture: Phil Hillyard
Can Dustin Martin make it Tiger time again in 2020? Picture: Phil Hillyard

RICHMOND

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 14.5 wins

See no reason why the Tigers fall off the perch. They won the flag without Alex Rance last year and can draw level with the mighty Brisbane outfit winning a third flag. Do Marlion Pickett and Sydney Stack even get a game? They have so much depth.

GIL'S TIP: Over 14.5

Simply the best and balanced team in the competition. Lock them into the top four, if not as minor premier.

Last season: 16 wins

 

ST KILDA

CLARKY'S TIP: Under 11.5 wins

This one jumps out. Will be surprised if the Saints win three more games than last year, even after topping up at the trade table. Will need to find a lot of goals at ground level unless Max King dominates in his first AFL season. Best bet.

GIL'S TIP: Under 11.5 wins

Recruited for the now, adding a wealth of experience in the off-season, but still not convinced the Saints will bridge the gap to the top eight.

Last season: 9 wins

 

Bradley Hill is one of a host of new Saints.
Bradley Hill is one of a host of new Saints.

 

SYDNEY SWANS

CLARKY'S TIP: Under 9.5 wins

Has Lance Franklin's premiership window shut? After a poor year last season, it's hard to see them making a big jump with Isaac Heeney and Buddy copping pre-season injuries. Expect Joe Daniher to be there in 2021, though.

GIL'S TIP: Under 9.5 wins

Around the mark. Buddy Franklin and Isaac Heeney breaking down hurts and the Swans dropped six of 11 matches at the SCG last year - both causes for concern.

Last season: 8 wins

 

WEST COAST

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 14.5 wins

Real chance to win a second flag in three years. Will carve up some teams in the west, especially if Nic Naitanui gets a chance to feed that jet midfield brigade for the whole season. Oscar Allen is coming on quickly, easing fears about an ageing Josh Kennedy. Tim Kelly a layer of cream on an already tasty cake.

GIL'S TIP: Over 14.5 wins

Second only to Richmond as the best and most balanced team in the competition. The addition of Tim Kelly makes the Eagles an ominous combatant for anyone, anywhere. Need everything to go right to bank 15 wins again, but more than capable with even luck.

Last season: 15 wins

 

WESTERN BULLDOGS

CLARKY'S TIP: Over 12.5 wins

Can't wait for the Round 1 clash against Collingwood when the Dogs have the chance to make a statement about their top-four hopes this year. The midfield is one of the best in the competition and Josh Bruce could be one of the most underrated pickups of the year. It's a poor year if they aren't winning 13 at least.

GIL'S TIP: Over 12.5 wins

Got the talent and depth to be playing finals. Looked in all sorts last year before rattling into the top eight and expect that experience and form to carry over in 2020.

Last season: 12 wins


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