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Close encounters

If recent history is anything to go by, North Melbourne and Dogs' fans are in for a thriller on Sunday.

The last three contests between the sides have all been settled by less than four points, making it the equal second-longest streak of its type, according to Twitter stats guru @sirswampthing.

A fourth consecutive game under four-points would equal the current record held between West Coast and Sydney from 2006-2007, and Footscray and Hawthorn between 1930-1931.

In the last three games the Bulldogs have won two by a total margin of three points. The first came in the inaugural Good Friday match in Round 4, 2017.

Despite North leading for three quarters, it was the reigning premiers that snuck home by two-points when Linsday Thomas’ shot on the final siren sailed wide.

In the second encounter in Round 14 that season, the margin was slimmer, with the Dogs winning by one-point after weathering a spirited final quarter comeback from the Roos. 

In the first meeting this season, the Kangaroos had the last laugh.

North looked set for another loss until some final quarter heroics from Shaun Higgins and Jack Ziebell led to a two-point victory.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs