Scratchy Dogs must fire against Magpies

Matt Suckling (left) admits the Western Bulldogs have been inconsistent during this AFL season. (AAP)

The Western Bulldogs must find a way to win against more-fancied Collingwood at Marvel Stadium to stay in touch with the AFL top eight.

The Western Bulldogs have been a tough team to get a read on during an inconsistent AFL season, but Luke Beveridge's men can answer some of the queries on their form against Collingwood.

A loss to the Pies at Marvel Stadium on Sunday will leave the Dogs with a 5-8 record and make it difficult for them to make a finals tilt.

Another win against a highly-rated side would further validate some of the steps forward taken this year and leave the door open for a late-season charge.

But which Dogs team will show up?

The listless mob who succumbed to lowly Carlton in round five or the ferocious pack that took apart Richmond just two weeks later?

"There have definitely been some inconsistencies," Dogs veteran Matt Suckling told AAP.

"We've been beaten by sides below us and then beaten teams above us on the ladder.

"We've been inconsistent in games and week to week but we've got a clear plan going forward."

That patchy form was evident in the Bulldogs' heart-stopping three-point win over the Blues last week, when they twice appeared to have the game well in their keeping only to let their opponents back in.

But Suckling is seeing progress, especially in attack where he is spending more time after an early-season shift from defence.

"We haven't scored as heavily as we would have liked at times, but over the past month to six weeks we've been a little bit more efficient going inside 50," he said.

"It's been a refreshing change going up forward, it's a bit of a new challenge and I've had some good and bad days.

"It can be difficult at times, but I'm really loving it. The more I play up there the more I understand what I need to do.

"It's taken me a little bit longer to get used to that than I thought it would but I feel like I'm getting there."

The Bulldogs brought in Josh Schache, Taylor Duryea, Ed Richards and Roarke Smith for the clash, while the Pies replaced banned forward Jaidyn Stephenson with Ben Reid.

Source AAP

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch