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It wasn’t that hard last year, but AFL tipping will test you in 2014

It’s the start of the 2014 AFL season and picking winners might be a little tougher than what it was last year.

The Dockers, Swans and Hawks will take some stopping in the premiership race, but nominating the other five teams to fill the Top 8 is no easy task.

Little seems to separate the Cats, Tigers, Blues, Kangaroos and Magpies, and you’ve got to think that the Eagles, Bombers, Crows and Power will also be in the mix.

The Bulldogs finished with a wet sail in 2013 and could be the “dark horse” this year.

The Suns are expected to improve and will the Demons respond under the guidance of Paul Roos?

It could be a long year for the Saints and Lions, though surely the Giants will make an impression with the talent at their disposal.

That means at least 10 teams in line for the five remaining spots in the Top 8, which means that there will be a plethora of 50/50 games in 2014 – now there’s something tipsters can look forward to.

Winning on the road is essential when it comes to making the finals, but that could prove pretty tricky for a number of teams and subsequently they’ll no doubt be giving it everything when they’re at home.

It was no easy task picking winners in Round 1 of the NRL premiership and it could be a similar story in the AFL.

Perhaps this might help you out in your quest to work out who will make the finals and who will miss out.

The Tigers, Kangaroos, Power, Bulldogs and Eagles are expected to find another gear.

The Cats, Blues, Magpies, Bombers and Crows are handy outfits, but may struggle to find another gear.

We’ll just have to wait and see what transpires, which is an exciting prospect.

If the Hawks don’t go back to back in the race for this year’s premiership, then take it as a given that the Dockers or Swans will win the grand final.

That means that one of the preliminary finals will be an epic.

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