It’s do or die for two finals-hungry sides. Bulldogs v Saints LIVE from 7.50pm AEST

FRIDAY night’s clash between the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda is the closest thing you can get to an elimination final outside of September.

Both the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda sit just outside the top eight, and a loss for either side decreases their finals chance enormously.

After dishing up what coach Luke Beveridge called “the worst quarter of football that we’ve experienced in my time here” last week against Sydney, the Bulldogs will be desperate to salvage their season against the Saints.

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The Dogs will enter the crunch clash one game and some percentage out of the eight, and a loss would see them slip further down the ladder – and further away from finals.

The Saints will similarly be looking to cling onto their finals chances after last week’s disappointing 41-point loss to Fremantle, which denied them a chance to move into the top eight. They sit in ninth spot, behind eighth-placed Richmond on percentage.

Gun midfielder Bailey Smith returns from suspension, and could be crucial in helping the Bulldogs bounce back after two disappointing losses to the Swans and Brisbane, while forward forward Josh Bruce is making his return after missing almost a year through injury.

But it’s not all good news for the Dogs, with Josh Schache, Lachie Hunter and Aaron Naughton all sidelined due to health and safety protocols.

Marcus Windhager and Seb Ross will also be out of action due to health and safety protocols.

Western Bulldogs v St Kilda at Marvel Stadium, 7.50pm AEST


Western Bulldogs: Luke Cleary
St Kilda: Ben Long

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