Sollies and Port will do battle once again at Memorial Oval on Sunday in what should be a tight contest - after playing two close games already this season.
Port is coming off a loss to the Lions where it fought hard but was overrun by an improving side.
It has a string of injury worries to top line players which has left it exposed and having to blood a host of young players.
Captain Ben Luteria and ruckman Nelson Magor look like the only possible returns this week and if they play they will help bolster key positions.
Sollies will go in without Zak Siemer but may see his loss covered with the return of Daniel Hastings and Ryan Saracino, who has been in the best both times these sides have played this year.
After going to the top of the table by percentage just two weeks ago, Port has lost its past two and if results don’t go the Bulldogs’ way this week it becomes vulnerable to a late season charge from the Lions.
Sollies has a chance to chalk up its tenth win of the season - which is something it has not done since 2005 when it last played finals.
Victory this week will all but guarantee it a place in the top two and give it a realistic shot at finishing on top of the table.
Port will be relying on its senior players Luteria, Aaron Casey, Brodie Mudge, Michael Burford and recruits Henry Whiting and Thomas Under-wood to step and have a big game.
If they fire, there is little doubt that they will be followed by the young brigade of Corrieri, Hall, Magor, Thomson, Brooke, Clarke, Hutchinson and latest inclusions Bullen and the Connor twins.
These young players have been showing plenty for the Bulldogs but in the past two games in particular they have struggled to maintain their pressure for a full four quarters.
Sollies will be looking to capitalise with its more experienced team and will be hungry for a more consistent effort across the whole game.
If Magor returns then he will take the ruck but Burford could play longer periods in this role, as he was good last week against the Lions.
Casey and Hall are important for Port’s mid field and both have strong records of performance against the Cats.
Youngster Cody Brooke may see more time in the middle where he is destined to play in the future.
Graham Cooke is now Sollies’ first choice ruckman and he has rucked most games without any real rest.
However, last week against Central Augusta he swapped on several occasions with Davies and managed to kick a couple of majors while in the forward line.
Clayton Millard was at his workman-like best last week and still managed a high number of disposals against Matt Woolford while Matt Turner had one of his best games for the year playing in the middle.
The potential for Zac Hutchinson and Trent Hoare to go head to head on a wing is an interesting proposition, with both having shown great form this year.
However, Hutchinson has had only had limited game time in the past month due to a shoulder injury.
Both wings will be key positions for the style of play these two teams have – whoever gets the upper hand will go a long way towards setting up victory.
Up forward Port will need to have more than one or two contributors with Phillipps out injured and the goals drying up for Burford in recent weeks, as he spends more time in the ruck. Thomas Underwood has been fantastic all season but he spends a lot of time further up the ground.
Brodie Mudge returned to the forward lines last week and as always he looks dangerous when inside 50m.
This week Colby Mudge could well play on his brother, while Ryley Bateson is the most likely to go with Underwood.
With Zak Siemer out, Jake Hogg and Aiden Malchow will need to play key roles in shutting down the small forwards while Brett O’Brien will take on Matt Thomson or Sam Clarke.
Sollies will be looking to isolate Scott McIntyre on Ben Luteria, as he is extremely hard to beat one on one.
If Port can apply pressure up the field and drop players back in the hole then it has a chance of restraining the Cats full forward and in doing so increase the Bulldogs’ chances of winning.
Lindsay Bearman is second on Sollies’ goal kicking list and he, along with Davies and Stringer, will need to add to their tally for the Cats to win.
Ben Goodridge was down against Central and will be hoping to bounce back to the form that has seen him kick three goals in each of his two games against Port this year.
In the first encounter Sollies overcame a poor start and a 15 point deficit at three quarter time to sneak home eight-point winners.
In the second clash, with outright second place on the line, it was close all game with Sollies just getting the edge in the last 15 minutes to win by 19 points.
A good start will be vital to each side’s chances of winning and there is a strong possibility that the result could still be unclear until late in the final term.
The winner will be the team that can be more consistent, with an even spread of contributors across the ground, while maintaining pressure and run for longer.
Supporters should be all over this game with the last chance to see these sides clash before finals and plenty on the line to ensure a hotly fought encounter.