ROUND 11 of the Gippsland League will be staged tomorrow.

Mathematically at least, every team in the competition is still a finals chance, meaning there will be plenty to play for across the five games.

The benefits of depth are probably best demonstrated at this time of year, as the cold weather increases the likelihood of multiple players being taken out by illness.

Looking at parallels between the senior and reserve grade ladders, it is no secret that certain teams are sitting where they are because they have adequate strength waiting to be called up.

Leongatha and Wonthaggi are one and two on the senior and reserve ladder, while Sale is fourth in both grades. Moe is equal-third in the seniors, and equal-fourth in the reserves.

Maffra, admittedly a younger team, is sixth in the seniors but third in the reserves, meaning the Eagles too have senior quality players waiting in the wings.

While there are still matches to be won tomorrow, pundits might be able to look beyond what happens in Round 11 and pay closer attention to the senior and reserve ladders to see which teams should be in a good position come the last few rounds.

SALE faces Leongatha.

The Magpies will travel over the hill to take on the ladder-leading Parrots, who are still yet to drop a game in 10 starts.

Despite this, Sale might see Leongatha as a team ready to be taken apart, after the Parrots escaped with a three-point win against Traralgon last week.

Tomorrow will also present a good opportunity for Sale players to show their improvement from the last time they played Leongatha.

If the Magpies have indeed had any growth, they will surely narrow the gap from the 67-point drubbing they received at the hands of the Parrots earlier in the season.

The midfield battle promises to be compulsive viewing, with Sale playing-coach Jack Johnstone, Shannen Lange and Jack McLaren potentially up against Tom Marriott, Aaron Heppell and Luke Bowman.

Johnstone may well sell the message that Sale needs to take the game to Leongatha rather than letting the game come to them. If they do the latter, it could mean they are behind from the get-go.

While a win would be ideal, the match could provide a great deal of take-out for Sale if the Magpies can play a brand of football that proves they can match it with the best even if they lose.

Johnstone too could have one eye turned to finals, and opt to hold a few cards close to his chest.

If he has a match-up in mind that Leongatha has never seen before, there is little point letting them see it now – save that for a cutthroat final when they are more vulnerable.

MAFFRA is on the road to Bairnsdale.

The match is one in both the ‘should win’ and ‘need to win’ category for the Eagles if they hope to continue their push toward finals.

Victory last week over Drouin took Maffra’s record to five wins and just as many losses, putting them just outside the top five.

The Eagles make up a logjam of teams fighting for places in the bottom half of the top five, and the outcome of their game tomorrow will go a long way to determining their fate.

Travelling to Bairnsdale is never easy, and a fast start is generally needed by visiting teams to make sure the kilometres driven do not become a psychological burden.

The wide expanses of the Bairnsdale City Oval provide ample opportunity to spread and get plenty of overlap, and Maffra players such as Tom Jolly and Josh Davis will be keen to do this.

Eagle defenders will need to be aware of Bairnsdale small forward Brayden McCarrey at all times, and can expect the unexpected when he is near the ball.

A recent play by McCarrey in the match against Warragul showcased his presence of mind.

Running away from goal, he very neatly soccered the ball into the path of fellow forward John Gooch for one of the most creative assists ever seen.

ELSEWHERE, the local derby between Moe and Morwell will highlight action in the Latrobe Valley.

Only one win separates the teams, with Morwell in seventh looking to take a scalp of a top-five side.

The Lions will be desperate for a win at home, and need to snap out of a form slump that has seen them lose four of their last five.

West Gippsland clubs Drouin and Warragul will journey to Traralgon and Wonthaggi respectively for their clashes.