Carlton’s attempt to break the nine-year AFL Finals drought looks shaky after two straight losses.
The Blues looked secure in securing a spot in the finals for the first time since 2013, as they raced 8-2 under new coach Michael Voss.
But Carlton’s final standings are under threat after being 33 points behind the Brisbane Lions in the Gabba on Sunday.
The Blues (12-8) will face reigning Premier Melbourne next Saturday night before a big hit in Round 23 against strong rivals Collingwood.
Carlton need to win at least one of their remaining games to seal the final. If you don’t, you risk Western He Bulldogs or St. He Kilda jumping over them.
The Blues are ahead of Richmond (11-1-8) for 7th place, but the Tigers have a better game against Hawthorn and Essendon.
The Bulldogs (10-10), the losing grand finalists last year, endured an inconsistent season and suffered a heavy loss to Fremantle on Saturday.
But the 10th-placed Bulldogs, as expected, can reach the finals for the fourth year in a row if they beat GWS next Saturday and Launceston’s Hawthorn in the final round.
The Bulldogs then demanded Carlton lose both games, hoping to close a small percentage gap with the Blues.
St Kilda (11-9) still have an outside chance of making it to the Top 8, but their low percentage could ultimately come at a cost.
The Saints need to beat the Brisbane Lions on Friday night and the in-form Sidney Swans at Marvel Stadium in the final game of the home and away season.
Geelong are all but certain to claim the minor premiership after beating the Saints on Saturday night.
The Cats are scheduled to play Gold Coast (away) and Wood Spoon contenders West Coast (home).
Next Sunday’s big hit at the SCG between Swans and Collingwood will go a long way to securing a top four spot for the winner.
Carlton’s AFL final spot under threat
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