READ MORE - Weekend football teams
2.20pm today at Castlemaine.
Opportunity knocking for Kangaroo Flat to make it two wins in a row with the trip to Camp Reserve.
The Roos had to dig deep to get past Kyneton by three points last week and the fighting spirit shown in a game that could have gone either way may just be the tonic for a positive finish to the year, particularly if they can keep the key forward pair of Matt Boland and Matt Clifford on the park together.
The Magpies have endured three scoreless first quarters in their past four games, so need to impact the game early to build some confidence and spread the load far wider than just the trio of Matt Filo, Angus Monfries and Jake O'Brien.
2.20pm today at Maryborough.
Could this be the game where a bottom five side finally upsets a top five side?
The Magpies produced an admirable performance at home against Sandhurst last week, while the Bulldogs were far from their best for three quarters against South Bendigo before breaking the shackles in the last term.
Still, the trend of the season that is crying out for a genuine upset points to a Square victory, albeit the Magpies at home should give a far better account than the 113 points they lost to the Bulldogs by in round five.
2.20pm today at Gisborne.
The Bloods have lost their past four games to now be second-last and face a daunting trip down the Calder given the way Gisborne has beaten up on bottom five sides this season.
The Bulldogs have played eight games against the group of bottom five sides for wins by 93, 95, 89, 97, 112, 193, 68 and 99 points, showing they ruthlessly bury their opponents when given the chance.
2.20pm today at Kyneton.
The start of a run of five games against the bottom five teams to end the home and away season for the Storm, who barring a major catastrophe look set to finish on top of the ladder for the fifth time in the past seven seasons.
Lachlan Sharp booted 12 goals against the Tigers in the Storm's 134-point win in round five and needs one less than that - 11 - to reach the ton for the second time in his career.
2.20pm today at QEO.
With six wins in a row by an average of 90 points, the reigning premier Hawks are motoring along and have grabbed hold of a spot in the top three.
While the Hawks are up and about, this game on the QEO presents the Dragons with a major statement opportunity in what is a crucial clash in the BFNL's top three puzzle.
The Dragons are part of the big five, but so far their only win against a fellow finals-bound side remains their fighting one-point victory over an inaccurate Golden Square in round seven.
The Dragons aren't attracting the same amount of flag hype as their fellow finals-bound opponents, but they are only one game off second-placed Gisborne.
2.15pm today at Elmore.
The Bulldogs return from a bye and should extend their winning streak to eight in a row against an opponent they have handed plenty of grief out to in recent years.
The Bulldogs have won their past 15 games against the Bloods - the last five by margins of 112, 233 192, 154 and 137 points.
North Bendigo has produced four of the past eight Cheatley Medal winners. Given the form he is currently in, could Joel Helman be on the way to making it five out of nine?
2.15pm today at Colbinabbin.
A match-up pitting third against fifth.
The Grasshoppers have beaten bottom two sides Huntly and Heathcote in their past two games and now have to get up for a clash against the Bombers, who have plenty to play for given there's a strong likelihood that if they are beaten they will have their buffer in the top five cut from two to just one game from the chasing White Hills.
The game will feature two of what have been the premier half-backs of the competition this year in silky Colbinabbin veteran Nick Knight and Bombers' young gun Logan Prout.
2.15pm today at Lockington.
The Cats will be keen to get one back on the Blues after Mount Pleasant's five-point victory in round six - one of just two losses LBU has suffered this season.
With Lachlan Collins' season-opening nine goals against White Hills having now been officially recorded, the Cats boast five players with 26-plus goals - Patrick Gardiner (32), Thomas Leech (31), Collins (30), Jarod Bacon (28) and Jacob Gardiner (26).
In contrast Ben Weightman's competition-best tally of 61 equates to nearly 40 per cent of Mount Pleasant's 155 goals for the year.
2.15pm today at Heathcote.
If Heathcote can turn its first-half competitive performances of recent weeks against top five sides into four quarters of consistent football the Saints won't be without a chance of inflicting an upset.
The scenario is simple for the Demons - they just need to win to build some momentum for a late finals push.
2.15pm today at Mitiamo.
Nine wins in a row then a pair of defeats in their past two games for Mitiamo.
But that just shows the importance of banking early wins. Despite hitting a hurdle, the Superoos are three games inside the top three and by 5pm Saturday night should have the double chance officially locked away.
That is unless Inglewood can orchestrate a massive upset and end its 27-game losing streak.
2.15pm today at Bridgewater.
Both these teams slipped a rung down the ladder during the week as a result of Calivil United picking up the four points Maiden Gully YCW lost for its player points breach.
With the Mean Machine now seventh and Maroons eighth in what has been a dramatic slide from the heights of last year's flag, the league is now looking at the prospect of a finals series without either Bridgewater or Newbridge for the first time since 2004.
2.15pm today at Maiden Gully.
Tough week for the Eagles - they get stripped of four points for their player points breach against Calivil United in round 14 and now they confront the league's top side in Pyramid Hill.
Instead of being just percentage off third spot, the Eagles now find themselves back to fifth and only four points clear of Calivil United and Bridgewater as a result of the breach sanction.
No such concerns for the Bulldogs. They are a game clear in top spot and have a double chance sewn up in pursuit of that elusive first flag since 1950.
2.15pm today at Serpentine.
Yet another massive clash for the Panthers, who have become accustomed to games with plenty riding on them.
In recent weeks the Panthers have been playing for their spot in the top five - this time they have the chance to press for a berth in the top three against the Bears, who have opened the double chance door for sides like Marong after losing their past two games.
The Bears are at home, but recent form favours the Panthers ahead of this high stakes battle.
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