Greater Western Sydney has never beaten North Melbourne and there's no better time for the Giants to overcome the Kangaroos than in round 23, but both sides have plenty at stake. The Giants could still secure a top-four spot if they win and Adelaide, Geelong or Hawthorn lose, while a home elimination final is the least Leon Cameron's men will believe they deserve after a coming-of-age season. North Melbourne has avoided the potentially nerve-jangling scenario of needing to win to keep hold of eighth spot after Melbourne's shock defeat to Carlton, but the Roos want to keep building momentum from improved showings in recent weeks and could yet avoid travelling interstate – and likely for a rematch with the Giants - in week one of finals with victory on Saturday night.
It's now or never to beat North Melbourne for Leon Cameron and his Giants. Picture: AFL Photos
WHERE AND WHEN: Etihad Stadium, Saturday, August 27, 7.25pm AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide
LAST FIVE TIMES
R12, 2015, North Melbourne 18.9 (117) d GWS Giants 8.13 (61) at Spotless Stadium
R20, 2014, North Melbourne 19.12 (126) d GWS Giants 7.9 (51) at Manuka Oval
R14, 2013, North Melbourne 19.16 (130) d GWS Giants 6.8 (44) at Etihad Stadium
R23, 2012, North Melbourne 16.9 (105) d GWS Giants 11.11 (77) at Spotless Stadium
R2, 2012, North Melbourne 28.15 (183) d GWS Giants 8.6 (54) at Blundstone Arena
THE SIX POINTS
1. The Kangaroos set up their victory over the Giants the last time they played with a dominant 10-goal-to-four first half. Todd Goldstein won a record 80 hit-outs.
2. The Giants hold a clear advantage over the Kangaroos for inside 50s and scoring. GWS is ranked first for inside 50s, ahead of the Kangaroos in 10th, and are second in scoring while North is ninth.
3. North Melbourne is yet to lose to the Giants in five meetings. The closest the Giants have been was a 28-point loss in round 23, 2012.
4. The Giants will be aiming for their third win from as many games at Etihad Stadium in 2016 and have won five of their last seven under the roof. North Melbourne has won eight of 12 Etihad games this season.
5. No team has won more quarters of football than the Giants this season (59 including 14 final quarters). North Melbourne is 8th after winning 44 quarters, including 11 fourth terms.
6. The Giants enjoy a gulf in talent over the Roos, according to the Schick AFL Official Player Ratings, boasting nine players inside the top 100 compared to North's three.
IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Leon Cameron.
The Giants are still a chance of securing a top-four spot but at the very least the coach will want his side to play their maiden final at home, which they can ensure by beating North for the first time.
PREDICTION: Greater Western Sydney by 11 points