Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge is expecting a tight, tough contest when his side takes on North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday.
The Bulldogs lost by 25 points in their last clash in 2019, but their previous four games against the Kangaroos were decided by seven points or less.
"They've been impressive in the contest, they always are ... they're extremely capable," Beveridge said.
"We played them in the first Marsh game but they were without most of their prime movers - (Jared) Polec, (Shaun) Higgins, (Jack) Ziebell, Ben Brown, Robbie Tarrant didn't play - so all those guys other than Ziebell are playing this week.
"So we play a different North Melbourne team and like always we expect a spirited contest.
"They've been close games historically and we'd like the margin to be a bit bigger in our favour but we're expecting a really dour contest for the 90+ minutes that the game represents at the moment."
Both teams have a 2-2 win-loss record this season but the Kangaroos are coming off two consecutive losses while the Bulldogs have won two games on the bounce.
The Dogs will welcome back Easton Wood and Lin Jong while Josh Schache was recalled, with Aaron Naughton (ankle) and Sam Lloyd (collarbone) unavailable.
The Kangaroos have named tough on-baller Ben Cunnington to return from a back issue - though he will have to pass a fitness test - along with veteran Jamie Macmillan, but will be without Ziebell (hamstring).
Beveridge said he was happy with how recruit Josh Bruce had fared up forward so far, while Schache will play his first AFL game for the season.
"Obviously 'Naughts' and 'Brucey' have taken up those key posts in recent times and Josh gets the opportunity," he said.
"He's been training well and he performed reasonably well against Collingwood last week in the scratch match, mainly in the second half, finished off his game pretty well.
"So he gets his opportunity and we'll do everything we can to support him and help him play well."
The game will be both teams' final hit-out in Victoria before they relocate to Queensland for the foreseeable future.
Australian Associated Press