Western Bulldogs told to maintain the rage

The Western Bulldogs will guarantee themselves an AFL finals berth with a win over Fremantle.
The Western Bulldogs will guarantee themselves an AFL finals berth with a win over Fremantle.

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has urged his players to maintain the rage no matter what the other AFL results are this weekend.

The Bulldogs will guarantee themselves a finals berth with a win over Fremantle at Cazaly's Stadium on Sunday night.

But if Melbourne defeat Essendon on Saturday and GWS go down to St Kilda on Friday night, the Bulldogs will be assured of a finals spot even if they lose to Fremantle.

Beveridge concedes his team will watch the other games with more than just a passing interest.

But he doesn't want his players' emotions to hinge on those results, especially as they prepare to take on a fast-improving Fremantle outfit that have taken plenty of scalps this year.

"The important thing is to maintain the rage and the drive and be at our absolute best and see what comes of that," Beveridge said.

"We'll take a definite interest (in the other games) because it affects things.

"But no matter what we'll still have a single mindedness to play our absolute best. Nothing at all should effect that, it doesn't matter what the outcomes of the games are."

Beveridge said he wouldn't use the club's against-the-odds premiership win in 2016 to help motivate the team for another tilt.

The Bulldogs came from seventh that year to win it, and they'll be coming from a similar position this season if they make the finals.

"We are trying to build a new team. It's totally different to what it was," Beveridge said.

"I feel like we are emerging again. Ultimately if we don't win this weekend then it will be a huge missed opportunity. So the stakes are high."

Beveridge is almost certain to recall defender Easton Wood, who has recovered from a hamstring injury.

Toby McLean goes out of the side after tearing the ACL in his right knee in last week's win over Hawthorn.

Fremantle have won five of their past eight games, including last week's 64-point thumping of North Melbourne.

Australian Associated Press