After a nail-biting final round, where a number of teams had the chance to sneak into the top eight, Carlton managed to grab the final spot courtesy of a 1-point win over Port Adelaide while Richmond will make their first finals appearance since 2001.
Those two teams will face off in an elimination clash at the MCG on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Collingwood's loss to North Melbourne on Sunday means they will host the resurgent Port Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday night, with only the winner to progress to the next round.
Not many pundits expected Port Adelaide to be competitive this year, let alone make the finals, so it has been an impressive 2013 season for the South Australian's.
Fremantle will fly the flag for Western Australia as they embark on an imposing road trip to Simonds Stadium to face Geelong. Despite strong protests from Fremantle the AFL decided that the 34,000 capacity Simonds Stadium would play host rather than the much larger Etihad Stadium.
Last Thursday, Fremantle club president Steve Harris issued a direct statement expressing Fremantle's displeasure at the proposal. "It is inconceivable that a venue such as Simonds Stadium, with a capacity of 33,500…would be considered for a game that is likely to attract 40,000 to 50,000 people, including several thousand people from Perth who would travel to Melbourne to see the game," he said.
Perhaps the most anticipated clash will be the 2012 Grand Final re-match between Hawthorn and Sydney on Friday night at the MCG.
Hawthorn defeated the Swans by 12 points last Friday night but could be without superstar forward Lance Franklin after he was booked for a bump on Nick Malceski. Meanwhile, Sydney expect to welcome back Lewis Jetta, Dan Hannebery, Nick Smith and Kurt Tippett.
The 2013 AFL Finals series promises to be a blockbuster with mouth-watering clashes right across the weekend. All games will be broadcast live in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.
Adam Schoenmaker is a pastor in in his local church in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. Adam loves a good book, a classic album and all Queensland sporting teams.
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