WHO WILL come out on top when the League's two hottest teams do battle under Friday night lights for a sizzling Sir Doug Nicholls Round opener?

This mouthwatering clash between the ladder-leading Western Bulldogs and the second-placed Melbourne kicks off at a crowd-less Marvel Stadium from 7.50pm AEST.


Western Bulldogs: Louis Butler
Melbourne: Tom Sparrow

The Dees were handed their first loss of the season last week in controversial circumstances, while the Dogs are fresh off an 111-point shellacking of the Saints.

The Bulldogs have only dropped the one game this year, too, against reigning premiers Richmond in round seven, but haven't looked back since.

ALL THE STATS Follow it LIVE when the game begins

Riley Garcia will debut for the Dogs, while ruckman Tim English is back in the side after missing a month due to concussion.

02:28 Mins
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Match Previews R11: Western Bulldogs v Melbourne

Sportsbet's Nathan Brown and Matthew Richardson preview the game between the Bulldogs and Demons at Marvel Stadium

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However, the Bulldogs will be without high-profile recruit Adam Treloar who is set for an extended stint on the sidelines after suffering an ankle injury last week.

For the Dees, Christian Salem is back in the side after being a late out last week.

Both teams were forced to get COVID tests during the week, with Melbourne only learning of the results today.

The teams will be wearing their specially designed jumpers for Sir Doug Nicholls Round, which is celebration of our First Nations stars and their culture.