Ground: Horsham City Oval, Saturday night, 6.20pm.
Last time they met: Semi-final, 2013. Dimboola 17.12 (114) d Horsham 15.19 (109).
DIMBOOLA will face an almost season-defining clash against Horsham under lights at Horsham City Oval on Saturday night.
The Demons will go in as red-hot favourites after an undefeated start to the season, while the Roos – to the shock of most Wimmera league followers – are yet to open their account for 2014.
Less than 10 points has separated the Roos from victory in the past two matches – but falling to 0-4 would put a dint in the side’s premiership defence.
Roos coach Stuart Farr is confident Dimboola has the cattle to challenge his former team.
“The fact is, we’re playing the in-form side, so we’ll be up against it but we’re looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
“We’ve got to concentrate on playing consistent footy and lifting our contested footy.
“We’re doing all the right things on the training track and we’ve been in all our games – the boys are training hard and you can’t question their effort.
“We’ve got pretty much a full squad to pick from, so we’re trying to find the right mix and a formula to get a win.”
Pivotal to the Roos’ chances will be their experienced midfield firing and finding multiple avenues to goal around spearhead Lachie Exell.
Demons co-coach Jordyn Burke said his side would likely be boosted by the return of Tim Eldridge and fellow co-coach Brad Hartigan.
He said recent matches between the Demons and Roos had a history of being fiercely contested – with ladder position to count for little.
“Regardless of what their win-loss ratio is, it won’t matter,” Burke said.
“They’re going to be a good side – they’re a top side and well-coached.
“It’s going top be another really tough one for us – we’re expecting it to come down to the wire and we are preparing for a really tough match.”
Burke believes winning the midfield battle will be pivotal if the Demons are to maintain their unblemished record.
“We want to stick to what we’ve been doing, which is winning the footy in close and using our run and carry,” he said.
“When we get the opportunity to score, we have to make the most of it.”