The Bulldogs can cap off their impressive year under new coach Luke Beveridge with a September win in their first finals berth since 2010. The Crows, heartbroken after the tragic death of coach Phil Walsh in July, have lost just three times since and earned the respect of the competition for their courage and fight under interim coach Scott Camporeale.

WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Saturday September 12, 7.20pm
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Western Bulldogs: Rob Murphy, Dale Morris and Matthew Boyd will return, Stewart Crameri should play and Tom Boyd and Tom Campbell are available, but Jordan Roughead and Jason Johannisen are out injured.
Adelaide: The Crows' only worry is Brodie Smith, who rolled his ankle against Geelong. Wore a moon boot early this week but was expected to be available.

Round four, Etihad Stadium: Western Bulldogs 18.17 (125) d Adelaide 10.8 (68).
Jake Stringer booted six goals and the Dogs found a way to break the Crows' forward press, with their slick ball movement and toughness under the Docklands roof too fast.

R6, 2014, Adelaide 13.14 (92) d Western Bulldogs 12.11 (83) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2013, Western Bulldogs 20.11 (131) d Adelaide 17.12 (114) at Etihad Stadium
R4, 2013, Adelaide 12.8 (80) d Western Bulldogs 4.4 (28) at AAMI Stadium
R2, 2012, Adelaide 11.16 (82) d Western Bulldogs 9.10 (64) at AAMI Stadium
R13, 2011, Western Bulldogs 14.16 (100) d Adelaide 10.10 (70) at Etihad Stadium

1.The Crows continue to be the No.1 centre clearance side with an average of 14 per game, with Sam Jacobs ranked third in total hit-outs this season.

2.Does this affect what the Dogs do with their ruck set up? Minson and Campbell didn't play last week, which saw Stef Martin amass 50 hit-outs against them.

3.The Dogs were easy winners in round four after kicking 10 goals to five in the first half, before six unanswered in the third quarter put the result beyond doubt.

4. The Dogs and Crows have a rich finals history against each other. They played off in preliminary finals in 1997-98, with the Crows winning both in their premiership seasons.

5.Both sides were strong this season for taking the ball inside 50; Adelaide was ranked second averaging 55.6 per game while the Bulldogs were equal fourth with 54.5.

6.Marcus Bontempelli is a big mover in the Official AFL Player Ratings this week. He's gone from 20th in the competition to 13th overall.

1. Sam Jacobs v Tom Campbell/Will Minson
The Dogs have often played without a dominant ruckman, but with Jacobs huge against Geelong, whether they pit someone against him or rely on crowding at the stoppages will be interesting.

2. Taylor Walker v Fletcher Roberts/Joel Hamling
The Crows' leader, both officially and in a spiritual sense, has the chance to get on top against either of the less experienced defenders when it comes down to one-on-one contests.

3. Jake Stringer v Daniel Talia/Kyle Hartigan
While the midfield battle will play a part in this, picking the right defender for Stringer, who kicked six on Hartigan last time, could prove significant.


Western Bulldogs: Tom Campbell. Looks almost certain to get the nod with Roughead out and Minson the less preferred option. Will struggle against Jacobs but his work at ground level will be integral.

Adelaide: Patrick Dangerfield. Could be his last ever game in the tricolours and while he's been in ripping form of late, won't want to leave anything on the park.

Early on. The Crows have often started poorly, and after being made to look slow in round four, they won't want to concede an early lead to a fast-scoring team.

They stand a good shot if their midfield can get on top and give Eddie Betts, Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins and Tom Lynch the chance to create some havoc for the Dogs' defenders.

PREDICTION: Adelaide by 13 points.