ONLY one of East Point and Ballarat can realistically fit in the top four ahead of the Red Onion Ballarat Football League finals series in September.
At the conclusion of tomorrow's encounter at Eastern Oval it will be apparent which team can't.
Both teams were beaten last weekend by other likely finalists.
They have each won seven games to date this but East Point sits in fourth by virtue of having two byes to date this season whereas Ballarat has had the by just once. Each is well in arrears of Sunbury and North Ballarat City in terms of percentage and the loser tomorrow will likely fall behind Darley in addition to tomorrow's victor.
With Ballarat facing the possibility of four consecutive losses, Simonds Swans coach Shane Hutchinson says it is simply a must-win game.
"We win and it's finals, we lose and we make it very hard for ourselves," he says.
"We've lost a few but last weekend we weren't far off it. We lost by 17 points against a side (North Ballarat City) that has won a few in a row.
"We might try a few blokes in a few different spots but it is more about effort."
With Simonds Oval still in substandard condition Ballarat trained last night indoors at the Ballarat High School gym.
Garrett Liston returns for his first game in three weeks after a back related hamstring injury, while ruckman Chris Howgate is also named after being a late withdrawal last weekend. Josh Crawford and David Upton have also been included.
East Point has made two changes. Hayden Walters will miss the match with a minor knee injury, although there were fears the injury could have been far worse.
Speedy midfielder Matthew Bilton returns after missing two games plus the bye as the Red Lion Kangaroos manage his recurring hip injury.
Joel Spratling has been promoted at the expense of Jack Romeril.
"It is a clutch match for both teams," East Point playing coach Dan Jordan says.
"Both sides have had some losses but I think our form is marginally better.
"I think we can take a few positives out of the loss to Redan. I'm not unhappy with the effort from last week and if we carry that over to (tomorrow's match) we will be a decent chance.
"Ballarat beat us the first time we played them this season but that was our first match of the season and we hadn't played for four weeks back then due to the nature of the start of the season."
PREDICTION: East Point by five points