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Dogs set for last leg in AFL finals race

AAP logoAAP 21/08/2016 Rob Forsaith

Western Bulldogs will benefit from knowing exactly what their AFL finals equation is on Sunday, when a frantic race to September ends in Perth.

The Bulldogs can finish as high as fourth on the ladder if four results go their way in the last round of the season.

On the flipside they could remain in seventh spot - regardless of how emphatic the victory they hope to enjoy over Fremantle might be.

The Bulldogs are one of three sides on 15 wins, while ladder-leaders Sydney are one of four clubs to have already banked 16 victories.

It means there are still plenty of unknowns and different scenarios that could play out as the jostling for a home final continues.

The Bulldogs at least have one ace up their sleeve: their game starts at 4.40pm AEST on Sunday when the picture will be a lot clearer.

"We'll have a fair idea of whether there's an opportunity (to climb up the ladder) or whether things can't change, depending on what happens in the other games," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said.

"So we'll need to process whatever happens before we play.

"If you start thinking too much about outcomes before you run out .. it can get to you and can be your achilles heel ultimately.

"All that matters is you focus on the actual process of doing your best to win."

Beveridge was surprised to hear his side are still in the mix for a top-four berth.

The Bulldogs will earn a double chance in finals if they win, while West Coast, Greater Western Sydney and Hawthorn all lose.

They would also need to bridge a percentage gap of 2.3 to overtake the Hawks.

"Whether that's a reach or not, I don't know. Who knows, stranger things have happened," Beveridge said.

"We'll travel to Western Australia with a team intent on finishing the home-and-away season on a positive.

"And making sure we've got some momentum coming into the week off.

"Who knows how the cards might fall."

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