Bulldogs to weigh up Bontempelli balance

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Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli will likely continue to spend plenty of time forward when he returns against Collingwood.

Bontempelli was managed for last week's AFL loss to Port Adelaide as he dealt with niggling injuries, and was also bedridden with the flu.

The 26-year-old, best known for his match-winning qualities as a midfielder, has been used more frequently as a forward target this season to give the Bulldogs more height in attack.

"It's likely he'll play a mix of both. And that blend will have a designated way to start and then as the game goes on, we'll continue to assess it and see what's working and where we might need him more," coach Luke Beveridge said.

Josh Dunkley has also played forward to great effect and could spend more time there, while Beveridge stressed Bontempelli's time forward was more about helping out the forward line than attempting to rest the skipper's body.

"It's probably harder on a player to be in that collision game, the more consistent aerial game as a forward rather than be the inside-mid, (at) close quarters, the collision game isn't as dramatic," he said.

"So you probably get exposed a little bit more with your body. But that's just him as a leader in conversation, wanting to do what's right for the team.

"The mix of his forward-mid definitely a few weeks ago, it started to be more heavily loaded with some forward play.

"I think we found a better balance ... and then it allowed Josh Dunkley, who played really, really well (to go forward and kick) three goals against Essendon.

"That's in the mix as well with Dunks being able to play a little bit of that deeper forward stuff, because of his height and his strength and his want for the contest as well."

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