Huge month awaits Bulldogs as AFL finals race heats up

Facing a season-defining month, the Western Bulldogs are undaunted by the size of the task confronting them as the race for AFL finals spots heats up, Ed Richards insists.

The Bulldogs are back in the black with an 8-7 record and sit on the cusp of the top eight following last week's scrappy win over North Melbourne.

But a difficult test away to Port Adelaide on Saturday is the first of four consecutive encounters with current top-eight sides that will put the Dogs to the test.

After the Power, Luke Beveridge's men face Carlton at home and then trips to Geelong and Sydney in a tough July schedule.

"We're looking to win all of them really. We don't want to take a backwards step," Richards told AAP.

"We've got almost a full list back, which is really exciting, and we can make a real good push for the back half of the year."

The Bulldogs scored a resounding win over Greater Western Sydney on their last interstate trip, in round 11, which snapped a run of five straight losses outside Victoria.

Richards said they would relish the trip to Adelaide to face a Power side that has been under all sorts of pressure in recent weeks after a run of unexpected poor results.

"It's very tough (in Adelaide). The crowd's pretty hostile," Richards said.

"Port have been a good team for a long time now, so we've got our work cut out for us.

"But we always love travelling together, it's a bit of fun, so we're looking forward to the trip."

Richards has been an important contributor for the Bulldogs this season, stepping up with increased midfield time.

The 25-year-old has fed off skipper Marcus Bontempelli, who he referred to as "the best captain ever", as well as fellow stars Tom Liberatore and Adam Treloar, who he said was in All-Australian form.

The Dogs' midfielders face a high-powered Port Adelaide engine room led by Jason Horne-Francis, Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Ollie Wines, in what will be a crucial battle.

"It's pretty stacked," Richards said of the Power on-ball division.

"They've got a good stable for years to come because they're all so young.

"We've got our work cut out for us but they've also got to contend with our mids as well.

"It should be a good battle."