Wendouree must defeat North Ballarat if it wants to play Ballarat Cricket Association first grade finals.
The must-win clash has coincided with the timely return of gun players Matt Smith and Jack Peeters.
Smith returned in round 12, but missed last match with a wedding while Peeters played seconds last round after being overseas for six weeks, both are ready to make an impact for Red Caps.
Smith made an unbeaten eight as Wendouree knocked off top two side East Ballarat a fortnight ago, but it is his average of 49.1 in the 2017-18 season that shows his class.
While Peeters is averaging 30.5 with scores of 45, 67 and 54 in the first half of the season along with 12 wickets at 22.8 with the ball.
The pair will significantly bolster Wendouree's line-up in what is an "elimination final" for the group.
With two two-day matches remaining, Wendouree is 10 points outside the top four, its opponent North Ballarat occupying fourth spot.
After going down to Mt Clear last week, the Red caps have no other option but win if they want any hope of playing finals.
"It's make or break for us now. If we lost this week, we can't make it," captain Gavin Webb said.
"It's huge for us, it's an elimination final. We need to hit back after last week and show that we deserve to play finals. We've got to perform, it's as simple as that.
"We still think our best cricket is good enough, but so is the other top four or five teams."
don't perform this game, we don't deserve to make it."
It's huge for us, it's an elimination final.Wendouree captain Gavin Webb
Webb said there was no need to overplay the enormity of the contest, the playing group knowing full well what is at stake.
"Everyone knows what is at stake, we don't need to address it. We've just got to come to play and execute."
For North Ballarat, it is full of confidence, undefeated since Christmas.
North has stormed into the four and while Red Caps will be hoping to claw its way into finals contention, North will have an equal hunger to keep them out.
"They (Wendouree) need to win to keep them in the finals race. If we get the win the top four is cemented," captain Leigh Lorenzen.
"Everyone's finding form at the right time of the year, so hopefully we can keep that going."
Dylan Price will return to the side.
EAST Ballarat has long had a finals spot sown up, two points off top of the ladder.
But it faces two big matches leading up to finals against Golden Point and North Ballarat.
While the direct results of these matches may not be telling, the confidence and potential edge gained from victory is something Hawks skipper Josh Brown values.
"They're a good couple of warm-up games (to finals)," Brown said.
"Beating them is what you want to do and that will give us that confidence."
Golden Point will be without Daniel White and Steve O'Loughlin, however Daniel McDonald will return.
NAPOLEONS-SEBASTOPOL will be hoping to gain its first victory of the season from one of its two remaining matches.
It always boded as a difficult season for a new-look, youthful Naps-Sebas and it has proved so. It will host Buninyong this weekend, a side that has had a solid maiden first grade season, but has not quite reached the levels it may have hoped, currently sitting sixth.
MT CLEAR will be looking to remain on top of the ladder when it hosts seventh-placed Darley.
BROWN Hill and Ballarat-Redan will lock horns in a battle between two young sides. Both have shown promise throughout the season, but it has been a year of development.
Mt Clear 70 points, 2.226%, East Ballarat 68, 1.737, Golden Point 54, 1.505, North Ballarat 52, 1.177, Wendouree 42, 1.004, Buninyong 36, 0.931, Darley 36, 0.848, Brown Hill 30, 0.628, Ballarat-Redan 18, 0.609, Napoleons-Sebastopol 0, 0.473