Malthouse tips AFL flag race in six

Mick Malthouse says GWS are one of only 5-6 teams who can win the AFL title and he is tipping them.
Mick Malthouse says GWS are one of only 5-6 teams who can win the AFL title and he is tipping them.

Coaching legend Mick Malthouse says only half a dozen teams are capable of winning the AFL premiership in the coronavirus-hit 2020 season.

Some experts have suggested the shortened and disrupted season, which restarts on June 11, could open the door for teams to "pinch" an unexpected flag.

But VFL/AFL coaching games record-holder Malthouse believes the 17-round campaign will heavily favour bigger, stronger and more "ballistic" teams.

He also says versatile and explosive midfield-forward players like Dustin Martin, Jordan De Goey and Patrick Dangerfield will be influential during shortened quarters, with each period trimmed to 16 minutes plus time-on this season.

"It's going to be the bigger, stronger and more mature sides that will come out the other end," Malthouse said on The Sunday Footy Show.

"I think there's only five or six sides that can win the premiership this year and each one of them have got that really good blend of senior players.

"They've got that explosive type of player; ... that type of player that can go in and make a habit of winning the ball in the middle but also causing some damage in the forward line."

Malthouse said reigning premiers Richmond, beaten grand finalists Greater Wester Sydney, West Coast and Collingwood were the most serious flag contenders.

He believed Brisbane and Hawthorn - boosted by the return of 2018 Brownlow Medal winner Tom Mitchell from injury - could also give the premiership a shake.

But Malthouse tipped the Giants to rebound from their shattering 89-point grand final loss in 2019 to triumph for the first time.

"Greater Western Sydney is my tip to win the premiership," Malthouse said.

"You talk about explosiveness, they've got that, and they've got the hunger but they've also got a good age blend.

"They are in the mix."

Australian Associated Press