Best 22
Dale Morris, Jordan Roughead, Easton Wood
HB: Brett Goodes, Michael Talia, Jason Johannisen
C: Nick Lower, Ryan Griffen, Liam Picken
HF: Luke Dahlhaus, Liam Jones, Robert Murphy
F: Shaun Higgins, Ayce Cordy, Adam Cooney
Foll: Will Minson, Tom Liberatore, Matthew Boyd
I/C: Daniel Cross, Mitch Wallis, Koby Stevens
Sub: Daniel Giansiracusa

Injury list
The club has a relatively small injury list, with Tom Williams the only concern with his foot injury. Even so, he's expected to be available within three weeks. For players who have not seen much of the NAB Cup, like Shaun Higgins, the focus now turns to getting match fitness. Higgins will prove vital for the midfield this season, and the club needs a big year out of him.

The big questions
Can they find a forward line that clicks? The Bulldogs have struggled to find a combination that can deliver high scores, so pressure will be on Ayce Cordy and Liam Jones in 2013.

Has their match fitness improved? The Dogs need to run out games stronger if they are to be a force this year. No more fade-outs, or costly lapses in concentration.

Can their young stars step up? There are big raps on the likes of Tom Liberatore, Mitch Wallis, Cordy and Jason Johannisen, but they need to take pressure off the club's ageing stars.

Summer standout
Brett Goodes. Brother of Sydney Swans champion Adam, he's making the most of his chance at the Bulldogs. A VFL star, Goodes came within two points of winning the Liston Trophy in 2008, and played in North Ballarat's back-to-back flags of 2008-09. A big pre-season saw him upgraded to the senior list.

Fantasy cash cow
Brett Goodes stands at a lowly $121,300, and that value is set to skyrocket. The half-back flanker is bound to play plenty of games this season. Make sure he's in your side.

Sudden impact
Nick Lower will add something extra to the Bulldogs midfield this year. He has proven tagging capabilities, which he put on show during the pre-season with an impressive shut-down role on Trent Cotchin. A tough inside midfielder, Lower can bridge the gap between the side's veteran ball-winners and the up-and-coming brigade.

It's crunch time for …
Jarrad Grant. The Bulldogs are desperate for a key forward but Grant hasn't delivered. Expectations are high, given he was selected at pick no.5 in the 2007 National Draft, but the forward failed to cement a place in the best 22 last year. In 2013, he needs to finally show what he can do.

Pivotal match
Round one against the Brisbane Lions. The Dogs need to get off to a good start to the year, and what better way to set up the season than with a result against the NAB Cup premiers? Hosting the Lions at Etihad Stadium, the Bulldogs have to be competitive to generate some confidence from the get-go.

The Bulldogs will have a good year if …
… their ageing stars hold up, and if their forward line can deliver. Adam Cooney is one to keep an eye on, after overcoming a knee concern. If he can return to form in 2013 it will set the tone for his younger teammates.
Jones needs a big season, and now that Cordy has built up his size, he's ready to make an impact. predicted ladder finish
14th. The Western Bulldogs are unlikely to charge up the ladder this year. They need to be patient, while at the same time demanding a steady improvement.