In a BFNL season where every percentage point is going to count in terms of qualifying for the top five, Strathfieldsaye, Eaglehawk and South Bendigo will be keen to make the most of their round eight encounters on Saturday.
The second-placed Storm host seventh-placed Kangaroo Flat at Tannery Lane, while fourth-placed Eaglehawk and seventh-placed South Bendigo play bottom two sides Castlemaine and Maryborough respectively.
The Storm have lost Kallen Geary, Lachlan Sharp and Daniel Clohesy to injuries, while co-coach Shannon Geary and key forward Caleb Ernst weren't named in the team at selection on Thursday night.
On a positive note, inside midfielder Cal McCarty returns to the team after recovering from a calf injury and key defender Ben Lester is back in the senior side.
The goal for the day for the Roos will be trying to be competitive for longer.
They've been competitive with the top sides for quarters here and there, but haven't put together a four-quarter performance against quality opposition this season.
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In defeat, South Bendigo produced arguably its best effort of the season last week.
The Bloods were unlucky not to upset Strathfieldsaye in a one-point thriller at the QEO.
The QEO is where the Bloods play their best footy and they should have too much class for bottom side Maryborough.
South Bendigo key midfielder Liam Byrne won't return for the clash with the Magpies.
Byrne was named in the Bloods' side on Thursday night, but South Bendigo coach Nathan Horbury confirmed on Friday that Byrne wouldn't play because of a back injury.
After a taxing game against the Storm last week, Horbury said he was wary of his side having a mental letdown against Maryborough.
"We've spoken about that throughout the week,'' Horbury said.
"We can't afford to drop our guard because you never know what Maryborough might serve up. Hopefully, we can play the same way as we played last week."
Maryborough has named its strongest team of the season, with VFL-listed midfielder Jacob Lohmann set to play. The Pies would have been encouraged by kicking eight goals against Sandhurst last Saturday.
Eaglehawk is on the rebound from defeat after losing to Kyneton last round.
The Hawks have made a plethora of changes for the trip to the Camp Reserve.
Ruckman Clayton Holmes, forwards Lewin Davis, Shaun Knott and Sean Williams and wingman Charlie Langford headline the omissions from the team that lost to Kyneton.
Castlemaine regains key duo Zac Denahy and Tom Cain.
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