Des Hasler's Bulldogs travel to Brisbane to face the Broncos in the opening match of Round 24 on Thursday in a game that will have a significant bearing on the top eight.
The Bulldogs will be looking to replicate a similar result to last year which the Sydney club won 18-16, while the Broncos will be looking to see where they’re at against a top four side after a convincing win last weekend in an Origin type atmosphere at Suncorp.
“They’re a good sign and let’s not forget they were last year’s Grand Finalist,” Bulldogs Coach Des Hasler said on NRL Today.
“They were great last week and I think it could be an Origin atmosphere up there.
“It will be tough again and I thought their halves were very good for them. It will be a very good game of footy.”
Des has been a part of finals footy as a Coach for the past decade and the two-time premiership winning Coach believes this season's race is one of the tightest he's been involved with.
There are 12 teams still in the hunt for a finals spot and with three rounds to play, the make-up of the top eight and top four could be decided in Round 26.
The Bulldogs need to win two of their last three games to cement their spot in the top four.
"The top-four spot is always an advantage.
“As long as I can remember this had been one of the closest competitions.
"Teams are really coming into their own and there was an assortment of results last weekend that showed that.
“Semi-final football it goes to another level again.
"You need any advantage you can take in those last eight places and being in the top four seems to be one of those."
The Bulldogs welcome back Kiwi International Greg Eastwood into the side for the clash after missing the past fortnight with a hamstring injury.
“Greg will be right and he is a good acquisition for us to have back heading into the finals.”
1. William Hopoate 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. Curtis Rona 5. Sam Perrett 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Greg Eastwood 13. David Klemmer
Interchange: 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Tim Browne 16. Tony Williams 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 19. Danny Fualalo 21. Kerrod Holland
1. Darius Boyd 2. Corey Oates 3. Tom Opacic 4. James Roberts 5. Jordan Kahu 6. Anthony Milford 7. Ben Hunt 8. Josh McGuire 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Adam Blair 11. Sam Thaiday12. Matt Gillett 13. Corey Parker
Interchange: 14. Jarrod Wallace 15. Tevita Pangai Junior 16. Jai Arrow 17. Alex Glenn
Referees: Gerard Sutton, Chris Butler;Sideline Officials: Michael Wise, Rohan Best;Video Referees: Bernard Sutton, Luke Patten, Steve Chiddy.