Panmure is set to bolster its side for Saturday's top-of-the-table blockbuster against Nirranda, with experienced campaigner Tom Wright returning from injury in a big boost.
The Bulldogs face the sternest challenge in Warrnambool and District football possible - an away clash against Brayden Harkness' Blues, but coach Chris Bant said the group was ready to embrace the challenge and is confident of the right result if they can match them.
"We've probably had four comfortable wins in a row now so we're looking forward to playing the benchmark," he said.
"We know if we do get over the line, it'll be tough and hard - we know it'll be very different to what we've been playing.
"They're a pretty similar team, pretty contested and have some really good ball winners and great forwards. They're pretty even across the park and their backline is probably the strongest in the league."
Nirranda coach Brayden Harkness confirmed the side would make four changes to its side, with Dylan Willsher, Danny Craven, Tyler Coates and Jordan Payne to return.
The coach himself will sit out with a minor calf injury, while Patrick Lee, Lochie Cook and Peter McDowall come out of the side.
Harkness said the club was excited to welcome back some key players.
"Danny had last week off and was a bit sore but adds a lot to the midfield. Jordan Payne hasn't played in a while and is back from a big foot injury, and we're excited to get him back," he said.
"Tyler had last week off too and will solidify that midfield rotation, and Dylan will play on a wing. We still have a few out, but we think it'll be a fantastic challenge against Panmure who are looking quite settled."
Dennington, meanwhile, has been forced into huge changes ahead of its clash against Russells Creek, with the Dogs hit with the dreaded injury curse.
Jonathon Malone (ankle), Sam Lee (shoulder), Tom Lee (knock to the knee), Tom Noonan (hamstring) and Sam Curtis (arm) were all injured against Panmure and will miss, with Kye McKenna, Jeremy Turner, Kaleb Allen, Dillon Patton and Jesse Lewis all coming into the side.
The Dogs will also still be without key ruckman Reggie Barling and important forward Josh Stapleton for the clash against the in-form Creekers and have made five forced changes.
"It hurts, Tom Lee has been massive down back especially, and we'll lose three of our backs," Dogs coach Ben Thornton said.
"We've lost key players, but with the boys coming in, we know we can give them a role and they'll play it - we'll back them in to do that.
"We'll definitely have to change structures and we'll throw the magnets around a lot but those boys coming in have toiled away in the reserves and 18s and have done everything we've told them to do.
"It's one of those things, those lads were probably going to get their opportunities at some stage but it's just all happened at once, which is what it is."
Thornton said he hoped the Dogs could take it up to the Creekers despite the losses.
Russells Creek mentor Danny Chatfield confirmed the side would make at least two changes at this stage for the clash with the Dogs, with skipper Taylem Wason and Caleb Templeton out with illness.
Recruit Kalon Cottee will finally making his debut for the club after swapping across from Nirranda in the off-season, while Griffen McLeod comes in after a strong performance in the reserves.
"Whilst our ressies got a bit of a touch up last week, we're doing alright so blokes will get the chance to stand up," Chatfield said.
The Creekers mentor said the group would simply not take the wounded Dogs lightly.
"They have played some really good footy, and you can't drop your guard against anyone really, especially leading into the mid-season," he said.
"We won't take anyone lightly that's for sure."
Timboon Demons co-coach Marcus Hickey, meanwhile, confirmed the side would make one change for its clash with Allansford, with skipper Jordan Fowler back after being a late withdrawal last round. Fowler will replace Cam Mitchell, who has a fractured eye socket.
Kolora-Noorat coach Nick Bourke confirmed his side would make four changes for its clash against Old Collegians.
While Sam Boyd - fresh off a 12-goal haul - will miss with work commitments and Joel Moloney will sit out with a slight hamstring complaint, the Power has welcomed key defensive pillars Ryan O'Connor and Jeremy Larcombe, as well as midfielder Ben O'Sullivan and Mark Clissold.
The final two outs are yet to be confirmed.
*Teams are sent by the clubs
Nirranda v Panmure
B: J.Payne, B.McCann, L.Weel
HB: R.Nutting, J.Paulin, M.Lloyd
C: E.Harvey-Cleary, D.Philp, D.Willsher
HF: J.Willsher, D.Lees, M.Primmer
F: J.Stacey, J.Folkes, J.Lee
R: D.Craven, L.Irving, H.Giblin
Int: T.Coates, A.Lane, J.Walsh
B: P.Ryan, N.Keane, J.Norton
HB: T.Gardiner, L.Lyons, M.Kenny
C: P.Mahony, M.Colbert, L.Kew
HF: C.Bant, B.Purcell, T.Mahony
F: L.Bishop, Z.Reeves, S.Mahony
R: L.McLeod, B.Gedye, J.Moloney
Int: W.Pomorin, T.Murnane, I.Sinnott, T.Wright
Russells Creek v Dennington
Russells Creek Seniors
B: C.Mifsud, M.Rook, J.Forth Bligh
HB: Z.Welsford, X.McCartney, Z.Timms
C: K.Cottee, P.Chatfield, S.Alberts
HF: W.McPhee, T.Smith, B.Hewett
F: C.Robertson, D.Cross, J.Chatfield
R: G.McLeod, D.Nicholson, B.Rudland-Castles
Int: R.Cottee, S.Grinter, L.McKane, D.Burns
B: T.Noonan, J.Turner, Z.McKenna
HB: B.Thornton, J.Lock, L.Pearson
C: L.Campbell-Gavin, T.Fitzgerald, D.Threlfall
HF: E.Dowd, J.Noonan, D.Davidson
F: J.Brown, M.Dwyer, K.Allen
R: B.Baker, G.Serra, J.Garner
Int: T.Davis, C.Simms, K.McKenna, D.Paton
Allansford v Timboon Demons
B: S.Kilpatrick, B.Fedley, J.Kirkwood
HB: J.McGee, B.Hunger, B.Edge
C: J.Crispe, Z.Mungean, T.Jones
HF: B.Lenehan, C.Day, R.Hare
F: M.Gristede, N.Murdila, R.Buck
R: Z.Jamieson, L.Nowell, L.Lusher
Int: N.Van Ginneken, K.Jans, T.Knowles
Timboon Demons Seniors
B: A.Hunt, A.Doak, H.Stansfield
HB: C.Trotter, S.Newey, N.Gillingham
C: J.Fowler, B.Matthews, B.Kelly
HF: M.Wallace, K.Delaney, H.Williams
F: B.Newey, B.Bacon, S.Negrello
R: T.Smurthwaite, C.Mitchell, M.Hickey
Int: C.Goffin, T.Thorburn, C.Dower, T.Hunt
Kolora-Noorat v Old Collegians
B: J.Brooks, R.O'Connor, S.O'Connor
HB: N.Marshall, L.Tebble, J.Larcombe
C: J.Moloney, B.O'Sullivan, J.Vaughan
HF: T.Glennen, N.Bourke, P.Baker
F: B.Reid, M.Clissold, T.Beasley
R: L.McConnell, J.Dillon, S.Kenna
Int: J.Carlin, B.Williams, N.Castersen, T.Henderson
Old Collegians Seniors
B: M.Crosier, J.Cust, E.Barker
HB: L.Moutray, N.Wallace, H.Hall
C: P.Keane, D.Gleeson, A.Grant
HF: J.Nyikos, L.Dickson, K.Bidmade
F: N.Forth, J.Dunne, B.England
R: H.White, J.Brooks, B.Keane
Int: J.Cleaver, J.Wallace, C.Duro
Merrivale v South Rovers
B: J.Fary, W.Lenehan, S.Barnes
HB: O.Doukas, K.Downie, J.Lenehan
C: T.Stephens, B.Bell, L.Nagle
HF: J.Neave, J.Brooks, M.Sandow
F: N.Krepp, J.Gleeson, J.Wilson
R: C.Rix, M.Hausler, B.McCutcheon
Int: J.Sobey, J.Mahony - Gilchrist, M.Stewart, H.Owen
South Rovers Seniors
B: K.Moloney, S.Wilde, S.Hodgins
HB: T.Wilson, A.Seabrook, N.Murphy
C: J.Higgins, K.Lenehan, J.Bacon
HF: D.Cox, J.Dowd, J.Dalton
F: J.Fedley, S.Williams, T.Ryan
R: T.Bowman, T.Harman, L.Payne
Int: M.Picken, J.Bell, P.Higgins, E.Dowd
Sports reporter with The Standard
Sports reporter with The Standard
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