- Updated: December 10, 2020
2021 promises to be a season of intrigue and surprise. Following a 2020 trade period of epic proportions, many stars have found new homes and teams have been both strengthened and weakened.
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Based upon this, here are our five teams who can comprehensively contend for the 2021 AFL Premiership.
Of course, Richmond must be number one on this list. After being the most dominant side of the past four seasons, Damien Hardwickâ€™s side has consistently performed with their chaos ball system that has delivered them three premierships from four. The scary thing is that the side has not shown any signs of fatigue or lack of hunger, and with most of their stars still in their prime, the Tigers wonâ€™t be slowing down anytime soon. If any team wishes to win the flag, then they will almost certainly have to go through the Tigers.
- Brisbane Lions
The Lions had a successful 2020, however fell at the penultimate hurdle to the Cats in a home prelim. Their acquisitions in the trade period were sufficient, with the acquisition of Joe Daniher potentially being the only missing piece of the jigsaw that Chris Fagan needs to bring the premiership cup back to the Gabba. Expect for them to push to the same heights next year, potentially even more if things go their way.
- Port Adelaide
The Power were the surprise package of 2020. After a consistently strong season which saw Ken Hinkleyâ€™s side take out the minor premiership, the side booked themselves a prelim final, but fell short against the eventual premiers Richmond. The arrival of Fantasia from the Bombers and Aliir Aliir from Sydney can only serve to strengthen the team, and if they build upon the good work they have done, there is no reason they canâ€™t be lifting the premiership cup in 2021.
The Cats are an ageing side, however that does not mean they still ooze quality all over the field. The loss of Gary Ablett Jr. will inevitably hurt the side; however, they have added stars to their ranks in the form of Jeremy Cameron, Isaac Smith and Shaun Higgins. Despite their quality, these players arenâ€™t exactly young, and the general feeling around the club is that theyâ€™re putting their eggs in the basket for the present instead of planning for the future. Expect for the Cats to go all in in 2021 and push hard for a flag.
- West Coast Eagles
The Eagles would be livid at how their 2020 finals panned out, but the quality and depth that the side has leaves them equipped to bounce back well. Zac Langdon and Alex Witherden came in during the trade period and look good value for Adam Simpsonâ€™s plans. If the club can stamp out their form away from home and recapture their 2018 magic, one would think that the Eagles can push for another flag with the side that they have.