AAP AFL

Plenty on line for GWS and Bulldogs in AFL

By AAP Newswire

The depth of a "super selfless" GWS forward line will be tested on Sunday, when a desperate Bulldogs side return to Giants Stadium for the first time since their 2016 AFL preliminary final win.

It's a high stakes clash for both teams.

Coming off a 104-point thrashing off Essendon, the Bulldogs must win their two remaining matches to give themselves the best possible chance of making the finals.

"We can't afford to slip up and that's something that's driving us," said Bulldogs' coach Luke Beveridge.

A win for GWS should ensure they finish no lower than sixth and guarantee a home game in week one of the finals.

"It's going to be a finals-like game and that's what we're preparing for and perfect coming into finals to get these tough games," Giants' forward Harry Himmelberg told AAP.

Himmelberg returns to the team this week after a minor calf issue kept him out of the Giants' 56-point-pummelling by Hawthorn, while midfielders Josh Kelly and Matt de Boer are back after missing five and seven games respectively.

For the first time this season Himmelberg will take his place in the forward line without the two Jeremys, Cameron and Finlayson, both of whom are injured.

"It's not ideal to have Jez and Jez out but I don't think it's any more workload on myself," Himmelberg said.

Joining him up forward will be 197cm debutant Zach Sproule, who he played alongside in the NSW-ACT Rams under 18 side.

"He's been on one-year deals for three years now so I couldn't imagine how stressful it would have been at the end of every year, so it's a real credit to him and how hard he's worked," Himmelberg said.

Going into this round Himmelberg led the competition in goal assists, with Finlayson joint second and another Giant, Brent Daniels, in fifth.

"Our forward line is actually super selfless," Himmelberg said.

"If you work as a whole you're obviously going to get more success, so it's been something we practice a lot at training, getting people in better spots having a shot."

While there's five changes to the GWS side, the Bulldogs will fields the same unit that obliterated Essendon.

They have seven players in their side who have never played at Giants Stadium, where the Bulldogs notched one of their most famous victories in recent times.

"The distant memory of 2016 is long gone," Beveridge said.

"There's a lot of players in our team who' have never played there so it's a bit of the unknown for some of us."