MURRAY Bushrangers coach Mark Brown is bracing his side for another tight contest when they take on Calder Cannons at Wangaratta's Norm Minns Oval on Saturday.
With the side's matches being decided by three, five, seven, 24, 11 and 21 points this season, Brown said the Cannons presented another tough challenge.
"It's a really close competition," Brown said.
"We don't expect it to be anything different on Saturday.
"We have to make sure we stay engaged and concentrate for 100 minutes.
"You could throw a blanket over a lot of sides this season."
The Bushrangers have made only one change with promising Wodonga Raiders youngster Tom Bracher coming into the side as 23rd man at the expense of Liam Andrews.
Bracher has overcome a serious shoulder injury and earned promotion after starring against Wangaratta Rovers in the thirds at W.J. Findlay Oval last weekend.
"We really like him," Brown said.
"He's a good ball user and smart decision maker.
"He will rotate through the front half and may be a little bit on the wing."
The Bushrangers have two wins for the season, while the Cannons have three.
Co-captains Cam Wilson and Lachie Ash are in good form while Zane Barzen has been effective in his role at half forward.
Key forward Hudson Kaak was strong with five goals last weekend, Kade Chalcraft continues to shine and ruckman Ben Kelly won the ball to the Bushrangers advantage.
With little football in the region on Saturday, Brown is hoping a good crowd will turn out for the 2pm match.
"I wouldn't be surprised if there was a good crowd with no local football," he said.
"It's is a great opportunity for people to come along and see a good standard of football.
"Hopefully we get conditions like this (calm).
"It's been really blustery all season."
The Bushrangers have a 2-4 win-loss ratio but have some winnable matches ahead against Calder Cannons and Oakleigh.
The team is:
B, O'Dwyer, Matthes, Byrne; hb, Ash, Fiore, Quirk; c, Durham, Clarke, Shepherd; hf, Chalcraft, Barzen, Chandler; f, Hillary, Kaak, Wilson; foll, Kelly, Wild, Chalcraft; inter, Boyer, Martin, Bowden, Baxter, Bracher; emerg, Bedendo, Hallows, Andrews.