Gordonians are eight points off the top of the National Two table – and know Saturday’s clash with Newton Stewart at Countesswells is a crucial one in their season.
The Aberdeen outfit are fourth in the standings on 35 points, ahead of Newton Stewart in fifth by points difference.
Leaders Lasswade are on 43 points and Gordonians have a game in hand on them, so this weekend’s rearranged fixture looks vitally important to the Granite City side’s title hopes.
Newton Stewart will travel off the back of a draw with Lasswade last time out, while Gordonians go into this weekend’s match having secured a bonus-point victory at Kirkcaldy.
“We are looking forward to renewing old rivalries with Newton Stewart,” Gordonians head coach Ryan Morrice said.
“There have been some cracking games between the two sides over the years and I expect this one to be no different.
“They have been in good form of late, so we will need to be at our best if we want to come out on top.
“Both sides will be looking to use the ball and we are expecting an open, free flowing game. The battle of the back-rows will be key in this contest.”
For Gordonians, Struan Robertson and Rollo Press return to the pack, which will boost the scrum and lineout options.
Sam Ryan drops out as he is back offshore, but young Rory Buchanan is set to come into a rejigged backline at full-back to make his first start, after debuting off the bench last weekend.
‘Time is really running out’ for Aberdeen Grammar in survival battle
In the same division, Aberdeen Grammar’s bid to get off the bottom starts with a trip to third-placed Peebles.
Grammar were beaten 50-10 at home by Falkirk last week, and captain Jonny Spence said: “That was an extremely disappointing result.
“We had a decent first half and spent a lot of time in their half, but gave away two really soft tries then completely capitulated in the second half.
“Peebles will be a difficult place to go, but we’ve got some confidence from how we played the few weeks before last, and will welcome Ben Renton back into the outside channels where he can hopefully do some damage.
“Time is really running out for us and now is the time to turn things around.”
Head coach Eric Strachan added: “The mood is remaining positive in the camp as we get ready to play the last couple of away games prior to a string of home games.
“Jack Geddes slots back in at 10 and we expect Peebles to be a stern test – but we are up for the challenge.”
Highland look for return to winning ways at National One strugglers GHK
In National One, Highland head to GHK looking to bounce back after two defeats on the spin.
Highland are still second despite their recent blip, but know they cannot afford any more slip-ups if they have any chance of chasing down runaway leaders Ayr.
GHK are currently bottom, and Highland head coach Dave Carson said: “We are needing to get back to winning ways to stay second in the league, but know it will be tough at GHK as they are scrapping for every point to stay up.
“We have won some tough matches away from home this year, so need to go down to Glasgow and work hard for 80 minutes and hopefully come back up the road with a victory.”
Rory Mighton will come into the Highland second-row in place of Euan Milton, who is working.
Co-captain Callum Carson is out injured, so Ritchie Dinnes will take his place in the back-row, and 17-year-old Lochlan Hodge is again in the squad.
There is no National Three action this weekend so Orkney have a rest before they look to build on their 10 wins from 10.
Second-placed Moray will be looking to keep the pressure up on leaders Aberdeenshire in Caledonia One’s North Conference when they host fourth-placed Mackie.
Aberdeenshire are set to be at home to third-placed Ellon.
In the women’s Premiership, Garioch will head to second-placed Stirling County looking for their first win of the campaign.
Time is running out for them to avoid bottom spot, but they are just one point behind Stewartry.