The Run Home: Roosters

How they stand: The Roosters are comfortably in the top four and are looking every bit like premiership heavyweights after losing only once in their last nine matches. The Tricolours' 24-0 shutout of the Warriors on Sunday afternoon was a powerful message to the rest of the competition. With arguably the game's strongest roster featuring Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Michael Jennings, Blake Ferguson, Mitchell Pearce, James Maloney, Jake Friend and an intimidating forward pack, the Roosters are the whole package. They can bully teams with their forwards and defensive unit, while their attack has multiple facets which will prove crucial in the bigger games.

The Roosters play three games against top-eight sides in their final seven games, all at their home base of Allianz Stadium. Outside of those blockbuster clashes with the Bulldogs, Broncos and Rabbitohs they shouldn't be too troubled, with only one game outside of Sydney in their last seven matches – a nice easy drive up the F1 freeway to Newcastle.

Remaining fixtures: 
Round 20 v Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium, 7:35pm, Friday, July 24.
Round 21 v Bulldogs at Allianz Stadium, 7:35pm, Friday, July 31.
Round 22 v Knights at Hunter Stadium, 4pm, Sunday, August 9.
Round 23 v Eels at Allianz Stadium, 7:30pm, Saturday, August 15.
Round 24 v Broncos at Allianz Stadium, 7:30pm, Saturday, August 22.
Round 25 v Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval, 7:45pm, Friday, August 28.
Round 26 v Rabbitohs at Allianz Stadium, 7:45pm, September 4.

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Key clash: The Roosters are almost assured of an all important top-four berth, but have a tricky final three weeks with games against the Broncos, Sea Eagles and Rabbitohs to end the season. Their clash with the Rabbitohs in Round 26 is sure to be an intriguing battle heading into the finals. It could prove a great litmus test for both clubs and a launching pad into the opening week of the finals.

 

Key player: The Roosters have one of the strongest rosters in the competition and an ability to cover most positions if injuries strike. However, if Jake Friend, James Maloney or Mitch Pearce get injured, it will dramatically bring them back to the field. All three are pivotal to the Tricolours' chances of winning a second premiership in three years.

Injury report: Move along, nothing to see here. The Roosters have depth and strength across their roster, but more importantly, they have no injuries to speak of. It puts them in a great place to make another tilt at premiership glory.

NRL.com predicted finish: 3rd.

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Ladder Predictor: Who will make the top eight?