EITHER Gold Coast or the Western Bulldogs will make serious inroads in the top eight with a win on Thursday night at Metricon Stadium.

FOLLOW IT LIVE Suns v Bulldogs

The victor will sit as high as third overnight, however, they will be leapfrogged by the round's end.

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Match Previews R8: Gold Coast v Western Bulldogs

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the highly anticipated clash between the Suns and Bulldogs at Metricon Stadium

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The Bulldogs are going into the game without former vice-captain Lachie Hunter, who has been ruled out of selection due to personal reasons.

21yo midfielder Callum Porter comes into the side for his debut match, and Billy Gowers will play his second game of the season, replacing injured forward Bailey Dale.

FULL TEAMS Check 'em out

Gold Coast isn't making any changes to its team that defeated Sydney by 32 points on Saturday.

Some of the game's most exciting youngsters will be on show, including Bulldogs livewire Cody Weightman who made a name for himself last week in an electrifying debut.

WORTH THE WEIGHT Debutant Dog now in godfather mix for teammate's baby

For the Suns, although Matt Rowell won't be playing, there is also plenty of excitement with Noah Anderson, Connor Budarick and Izak Rankine already among this year's NAB AFL Rising Star nominees. 

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'Worst trade in history'? Gun Sun proving critics wrong

Neroli Meadows and Champion Data's Daniel Hoyne preview the Thursday night clash between the Suns and Bulldogs

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The game starts at 7.40pm AEST.