Canterbury's valiant efforts were finally rewarded when they secured their second win of the season against top-four aspirants Newcastle last week.
With many in the squad playing for their futures as Trent Barrett's arrival in 2021 approaches, the Bulldogs have plenty of motivation to close out the season strongly under interim coach Steve Georgallis.
But they'll need to be at their giant-killing best to take down western Sydney rivals Parramatta, who rebounded from a loss by beating the Wests Tigers in round 11 to firmly remain in the top four.
The Eels have regained some key troops and will want to fine tune their combinations again leading into the finals.
Match: Bulldogs v Eels
Round 12 -
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Bulldogs: The Bulldogs will start 1-17 after Chris Smith and Reimis Smith were the two players left out an hour before kick-off. Mid-season recruit Tim Lafai replaces Kerrod Holland at centre. Jack Cogger and Sauaso Sue join the interchange in place of Brandon Wakeham. Kerrod Holland and Renouf To'omaga were the players omitted from the squad on Saturday.
The Bulldogs have won three of their past four games at ANZ Stadium.
Eels: No late changes for the Eels, with reserves Stefano Utoikamanu and David Gower the last two players to be omitted. Ryan Matterson (head knock) and Will Smith dropped out of the side 24 hours before kick-off with Marata Niukore starting in the back row and Brad Takairangi on the bench. Kane Evans (calf) and Oregon Kaufusi (broken hand) return on the bench.
The Eels have won seven of their past nine games against the Bulldogs.
Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick MeaneyFullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Dallin Watene-ZelezniakWinger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Tim LafaiCentre for Eels is number 3 Michael Jennings
Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Jake AverilloCentre for Eels is number 4 Waqa Blake
Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Marcelo MontoyaWinger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran ForanFive-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Lachlan LewisHalfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses
Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden TolmanProp for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-KingHooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Dylan NapaProp for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner2nd Row for Eels is number 15 Marata Niukore
Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Luke ThompsonLock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Jack CoggerInterchange for Eels is number 14 Andrew Davey
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Sione KatoaInterchange for Eels is number 16 Kane Evans
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Sauaso SueInterchange for Eels is number 17 Oregon Kaufusi
Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Ofahiki OgdenInterchange for Eels is number 18 Brad Takairangi
Kieran Foran v Dylan Brown: When the Bulldogs play well, chances are a fit and firing Kieran Foran is a major reason. That was exactly the case last round. The five-eighth will be keen to keep that form going against his former club. Eels No.6 Brown has grown enormously in 2020, perfectly complementing Mitchell Moses and feeding the outside backs.
Parramatta lead the league for tackle breaks with 404 - an average of 36.7 per match. That's concerning for Canterbury, who are ranked an unfortunate third for missed tackles with 365 (33.1 per match).