The Bulldogs have decided to leave ruckman Jordan Roughead out of their side to take on Port Adelaide, with the forecast of wet conditions forcing them to pick players best suited to the conditions.
Roughead has battled to cement a spot in the line-up but the Bulldogs were also determined to not repeat the mistakes made against the Crows on a wet Adelaide night less than a month ago when they scored just two goals.
They included tough inside midfielder Mitch Wallis and defenders Shane Biggs and Lukas Webb to replace injured trio Matt Suckling, Tory Dickson and Dale Morris.
Suckling has succumbed to a niggling achilles injury while Dickson (hamstring) and Morris (knee) had already been ruled out.
Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said the club had learned from their experience in round nine against Adelaide when they kicked just two goals and were beaten by 37 points in wet conditions.
"We did quite a few things wrong and one of the quite basic things … was just handling the ball cleanly and being able to possess it straight away and play the territory game," Beveridge said.
"If you don't handle [the ball] cleanly you don't spend enough time over it then whatever you want to do with the footy goes out the window because you miss your chance. We'll need to be better than that."
The Bulldogs defeated Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval in 2016 before going on to win the premiership but lost to them in a tough tussle in Ballarat last season, a loss that knocked the Bulldogs out of finals contention.
The win in 2016 remains the club's only win at Adelaide Oval.
With just four wins in their first 11 games the Bulldogs are unlikely to play finals for a second successive season however Beveridge said spirits remained high.
'[It's a] change management exercise for us," Beveridge said.
"We've identified everything that is going on within our club, within our playing ranks, within our availability week to week [and] we understand what is going on."
Port Adelaide, who sits just inside the eight having played 11 games, made a statement at selection replacing Jack Watts, who was quiet against Richmond with Jake Neade and the injured Tom Jonas also out of the team.
The resilient goalsneak Lindsay Thomas has won his spot back after being suspended for a bump he laid against Geelong in round five while Jack Hombsch and Todd Marshall return.
Backs: R.Bonner 26 J Hombsch 36 D.Houston 43
Half Backs: D.Byrne-Jones 33 T.Clurey 17 J.Pittard 29
Centreline: S.Motlop 6 O.Wines 16 J.Polec 21
Half Forwards: T.Boak – C 1 J.Westhoff 39 C.Wingard 20
Forwards: S.Gray 46 C.Dixon 22 R.Gray 9
Followers: P.Ryder 4 T.Rockliff 11 B.Ebert 7
Interchange: D.Howard 32 S.Powell-Pepper 2 T Marshall 13 L Thomas 48
Emergencies: K.Amon 15 A Johnson 31 J.Trengove 19 J Toumpas 18
In: J Hombsch, T Marshall, L Thomas
Out: T Jonas (injured), J Watts (omitted), J Neade (omitted)
Backs: B Williams 34 J.Trengove 8 E.Richards 20
Half Backs: H Crozier 9 Z Cordy 12 E.Wood – C 10
Centreline: J.Johannisen 39 L.Hunter 7 P.Lipinski 27
Half Forwards: C.Daniel 35 J.Schache 13 M Wallis 3
Forwards: L.Dahlhaus 6 M.Bontempelli 4 B.Gowers 26
Followers: T.Boyd 17 T.McLean 16 J.Macrae 11
Interchange: L Webb 19 M.Honeychurch 22 S Biggs 24 R.Smith 37
Emergencies: L.Young 2 J Dunkley 5 J Roughead 23 L.Jong 46
In: Z Cordy, M Wallis, L Webb, S Biggs
Out: M Suckling (injured), D Morris (injured), T Dickson (injured), J Roughead (omitted)
Peter Ryan joined The Age in 2017 having covered AFL as a senior reporter with AFL Media.
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