WHAT a round of footy we're in for.

For just the fifth time since the advent of the top-eight system in 1994, all eight top teams will play one another in a round that promises to shape the future of every side in the finals mix.

BROWNLOW PREDICTOR Who's leading the race?

Melbourne and Brisbane will kick off round 15 in a top-two blockbuster at the MCG on Thursday night.

On Saturday we have a triple treat with Carlton (fifth) hosting Fremantle (third) at Marvel Stadium, Geelong (fourth) and Richmond (sixth) meeting at the MCG and Sydney (seventh) at home to St Kilda (eighth) at the SCG.

In the four previous occasions the top eight have all squared off in the one round – round 11 in 1995, round 21 in 1998, round seven in 2008 and most recently in round 17, 2012 – some memorable matches ensued.

Unquestionably the best of those rounds came in 1998, with three of the marquee matches decided by 13 points or less, including an eventual Grand Final preview between Adelaide and North Melbourne.

North Melbourne's Wayne Carey in action against Adelaide in 1998. Picture: AFL Photos

On that late-season Saturday night at Football Park, it was Kangaroos superstar Wayne Carey that stole the show, kicking five goals from 28 disposals as his team won on the road.

Malcolm Blight's men would have the last laugh six weeks later though, winning a second straight premiership.

That penultimate round of the season also included a midfield maestro shootout at Waverley Park between Robert Harvey and Ben Cousins.

Robert Harvey celebrates with St Kilda teammates after defeating West Coast in round 21 1998. The game was also Harvey's 200th. Picture: AFL Photos

Harvey, on his way to a second consecutive Brownlow Medal, would gather 35 disposals and kick a critical goal in windy conditions as the Saints broke a four-game losing streak to beat the Eagles by eight points and solidify their finals berth.

Matthew Lloyd kicked six goals and James Hird three, but it wasn't enough for Essendon to get past the Western Bulldogs, whose 11-point win over the Bombers put them into a final-round minor premiership showdown with North.

Essendon's Matthew Lloyd and Western Bulldogs' Craig Ellis contest the ball at the Optus Oval. Picture: AFL Photos

Gary Ablett kicked eight goals as Geelong beat Essendon by 11 points in 1995, while the pick of the 2008 matches came in Sydney, with Adam Cooney kicking a career-best five goals in a Western Bulldogs triumph.

Cooney would go on to win the Brownlow Medal later that year.

Western Bulldogs' Adam Cooney poses for a photo after claiming the 2008 Brownlow Medal. Picture: AFL Photos

The most recent of these mouth-watering rounds came almost 10 years ago to the day, but unfortunately it wasn't much to write home about.

Sydney beat St Kilda by 29 points, with Josh Kennedy (35 disposals, nine clearances) and Stephen Milne (five goals) starring for their respective clubs.

For the sake of the neutrals, let's hope Saturday's match between the same teams at the same venue is a lot closer, and this rarest of rounds can produce contests that live up to their blockbuster billing.