THERE are just two games of WAFL Round 20 action with Swan Districts looking to push into the top-two and Peel, South Fremantle and Perth looking to sort things out at the other end of the ladder.
There will be just the one game on Saturday afternoon with Swan Districts hosting Peel Thunder at Bassendean's Steel Blue Oval with South Fremantle then facing Perth at Fremantle Oval on Sunday.
East Fremantle, East Perth, Subiaco and West Perth have the bye with Claremont using the week off from WAFL action to win the Foxtel Cup grand final against Werribee at Patersons Stadium on Thursday night.
SWAN DISTRICTS (11-5, 3rd) v PEEL THUNDER (4-12, 9th) – STEEL BLUE OVAL, SATURDAY 2.10PM
Swan Districts and Peel enter Saturday's clash at Steel Blue Oval both desperate to win, but for very different reasons.
Swans currently sit in third position equal on second-placed East Fremantle's 11-5 record, but behind by significant percentage so Saturday's clash at home to Peel provides the chance to not only leap ahead of the Sharks on wins, but to also make up much of that percentage gap.
Peel sits at the other end of the ladder with four wins from 16 games to be on the bottom, but just percentage behind South Fremantle and one game behind Perth so a win against Swans will take the Thunder at least one spot up the ladder and lessen their chance of finishing with the wooden spoon.
Peel will have fond memories of its last two visits to Steel Blue Oval, though, and will be looking to win three straight games at Bassendean for the first time in club history.
In Round 17 last year, the Thunder thrashed Swans by 63 points and then in Round 5 this year, overran the black-and-whites in the last quarter to run out impressive 14-point winners.
Remarkably, all four of Peel's wins this season have come away from Mandurah and at tough venues – Steel Blue Oval, Claremont Oval, Fremantle Oval and Medibank Stadium, so winning on the road holds no fears for the Thunder making them a danger opponent for the finals bound Swans.
Swan Districts did get some revenge for that loss at home to Peel at Bendigo Bank Stadium in Round 13 with a thumping 91-point victory and will need to not only win on Saturday, but win big to remain a real shot of finishing in the top-two and earning a double chance come finals time.
Swans had lost three straight games to West Perth, Claremont and East Fremantle before returning to the winner's list last week beating Subiaco by 33 points and now need to keep that form going.
Likely high draftee Dayle Garlett goes out of that team that beat the Lions last week with Nathan Broad, Nathan Blakely and Matthew Jukes all pushing to return to the line-up in time for finals. Jarrhan Jacky remains out of the team as well with Andrew Embley likely to play one more week.
Peel is also coming off a disappointing 100-point loss at home to West Perth last Saturday and from that team there have been plenty of changes to take on Swans.
The biggest loss will be Fremantle defender Peter Faulks. He worked tirelessly with 30 possessions and 10 marks last week against West Perth, and not only that but he would have been the likely match-up for Ash Hansen. Matt Battye, Bryce Thornton and Callan Eddy also go out.
There are some important inclusions, though, with West Coast big man Scott Lycett and Fremantle midfielder Tom Sheridan returning along with Ash Thornton and Ryan Herring. Kamdyn McIntosh and Aden Field are a chance to debut.
SOUTH FREMANTLE (4-12, 8th) v PERTH (5-11, 7th) – FREMANTLE OVAL, SUNDAY 2.10PM
Neither South Fremantle nor Perth would have forgotten the last time they met at Fremantle Oval, but nor would they have been expecting to be battling to avoid the wooden spoon next time they clashed there.
Back in Round 2 this season under lights at the port, Perth looked in control against the Bulldogs leading by 50 points at three quarter-time only to see South Fremantle storm home with 10 goals to one to run out eight-point winners in an unbelievable turnaround.
While Perth did get a measure of revenge with a 34-point victory in the return clash at Brownes Stadium just a month ago in Round 16, returning to the scene of that Round 2 victory is something the Demons would surely have been waiting for.
Disappointing for both the Bulldogs and Demons, though, is the fact that since that early clash their seasons have failed to take off.
South Fremantle has won just three more games since to be equal on points of bottom-placed Peel and just percentage ahead while Perth has only five wins for the season to just be four points ahead of both the Bulldogs and Thunder.
That means that the loser of Sunday's clash at Fremantle Oval remains a chance of still finishing with the wooden spoon but a victory could severely lessen that prospect.
In Perth's case, a victory could also see it move up a spot on the ladder into the sixth position ahead of Subiaco and the Demons have in fact won two of their last three games. They beat South Fremantle and Peel both by 34 points before a 37-point defeat by East Perth last week.
South Fremantle finally won for the first time since Round 8 before last week's bye when the Bulldogs downed Subiaco by 20 points and now will be looking for two straight victories for the first time this season.
Making the Bulldogs chances tougher of victory is the loss of Andrew McCarrey and Jordan Wilson-King, but former Demon Casey Sibosado leads a list of inclusions that includes Adam Doughty, Shannon Burnett, Jesse Maiorana and potential debutant Samual Lowrie.
Perth could bring in Michael Edwards, Simon Donovan, Ben Noakes, Blake Warner, Brennan Stack, Christian Eyres and Cameron Manuel with Llane Spaanderman, Matthew Rogers and Zac Dawson going out.