BOTH Geelong and the Western Bulldogs have made late changes for Friday night's blockbuster at GMHBA Stadium with a premiership Dog to make a return to AFL level.
Toby McLean will replace Stefan Martin in the Dogs' starting side with the veteran ruckman failing to overcome a shoulder injury.
It will be McLean's first game since rupturing his ACL in round 17 last year. Just nine months after going down with his injury, McLean enters the clash without a VFL hitout after a three-week competition hiatus. Vice-captain Mitch Wallis will be the Dogs' starting sub – his first game at senior level since round two.
Key defender Lachie Henderson is a late omission for the Cats with a hip injury and has been replaced by Quinton Narkle, with veteran Shaun Higgins named their sub.
Geelong: Lachie Henderson (hip) replaced in selected side by Quinton Narkle
Western Bulldogs: Stefan Martin (shoulder) replaced in selected side by Toby McLean
Geelong: Shaun Higgins
Western Bulldogs: Mitch Wallis
It looms as a mouthwatering clash between two of the League's top teams under Friday night lights, with the third-placed Cats taking on the second-placed Dogs from 7.50pm.
The Bulldogs haven't won at the ground now known as GMHBA Stadium since round 16, 2003, but their impressive run of form in 2021 places them in an excellent position to snap the losing streak.
It won't be an easy task however, as the Cats have won six on the trot and boast one of the most potent forward lines in the competition.
They'll be boosted by the return of reigning best and fairest winner Cam Guthrie, who has spent three weeks on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
The resurgent Bulldogs have only dropped two games this season, boasting a whopping percentage of 150.
CATS v BULLDOGS Follow it LIVE when the game starts
For the Dogs, Lachie Hunter will play his 150th game.
The game will be played in front of 7000 Geelong locals, with metropolitan Melbourne residents banned from attending.