Sarah Black's crystal ball: Premier, B&F, best recruit, big call, more

DEFENDING a premiership is an awfully tough task, but if anyone can do it, it's the virtually unchanged Brisbane Lions.

The Lions have a deep squad to call upon, having lost only Emma Zielke and Lauren Arnell from their best 21, and Collingwood – who lost the preliminary final to the premiers by just four points – looks best-placed to stop them.

A new AFLW season means a new round of predictions, for better or worse. Read on to see Sarah Black's thoughts ahead of the 2022 NAB AFLW season.

ANALYSIS Must-watch matches, rivalries resume, who doesn't your team play?

Premier: Brisbane
Runner-up: Collingwood
Wooden spoon: Gold Coast
Moving up: GWS
Set to fall: Fremantle
AFLW best and fairest: Ebony Marinoff (Adelaide)
Leading goalkicker: Chloe Molloy (Collingwood)
Recruit of the year: Chloe Dalton (Carlton to GWS)
Headline you'll see: Games on the move as state borders slam shut
Headline you won't see: Reigning premiers Brisbane crash out of finals contention
Big call: A forward line missing Sabreena Duffy and Ash Sharp will cost Fremantle after a few years in contention
Game-changer: Stating the obvious, but COVID hitting clubs. The knock-on effect will see train-on players given the opportunity at AFLW level, and these will be the players who will be key parts of expansion club lists in the future, benefiting the competition as a whole.