JOHN Worsfold can all but end his former club's finals hopes and turn around an unfavourable coaching record against Ross Lyon in Essendon's clash with Fremantle on Sunday.
The Bombers sit in eighth place on the ladder ahead of the game, and a win would all but seal their finals spot.
If they win, only a surprise West Coast victory over Adelaide could see them drop out of tasting September action, but the Eagles would also need a significant percentage boost to jump ahead of the Bombers.
Worsfold is the most experienced coach in the competition with 307 games in charge over his 12 seasons at the Eagles and two at the Bombers.
But his record against Lyon-coached sides is not strong, having won just three of 13 matches in head-to-head battles. Worsfold last coached a win against Lyon in round nine, 2012, when still at the helm of West Coast.
That was Lyon's first local derby at the helm of Fremantle, following his sensational switch from St Kilda to the Dockers the previous off-season.
The Bombers appointed Worsfold as senior coach at the end of 2015 after the departure of James Hird, and has helped resurrect the club after the darkest era of its history.
Fremantle will enter the clash on the back of consecutive 104-point beltings, but Worsfold said the Dockers can still threaten.
"A few weeks ago they pushed GWS and they beat Gold Coast over there and they've had their fair share of wins this year," Worsfold told 6PR on Thursday.
"They're going to represent a really good challenge for us and that's what we're looking for. We want to step up to the mark and earn our spot, if we finish in the eight we want to earn it through winning a game that we should win.
"We've dropped a couple this year, we've had some wonderful wins and it comes down to this game to nail a spot for us."
History will repeat for Worsfold if the Bombers do progress to the finals after claiming the wooden spoon last season. The last side to be on the bottom of the ladder and make the finals the following year was Worsfold's Eagles in 2011.
The Eagles progressed to the preliminary final in 2011, and Worsfold said the Bombers could do some damage in September if they get there.
"Our best footy has been good against the good teams," he said.
"We can match up with those teams as well. If we get the opportunity we're keen to take on any of them."