The Bulldogs, who have played an extra match, lead with 12 points while Panthers have a match in hand and are on 10 points.
In what is expected to be an action-packed encounter, both teams will go toe to toe to cement their spot in the top two.
In the opening round encounter, it was the Panthers who sneaked away with the 26-22 win at home.
It was a tit-for-tat battle with both teams fighting tooth and nail for maximum points from the match.
Panthers raced into the lead, putting the much fancied Bulldogs under pressure in the second half in their previous meeting.
However, the Meti Noovao-skippered Bulldogs rallied on and put the match within their reach, heading into the final quarter of the match.
The final 10 minutes of their round one tussle went down to the wire and despite a tough fight from the Bulldogs, the Darren Piri-coached Panthers managed to hold on to their slender lead and win 26-22.
Bulldogs at home today will be hoping to settle the score and improve their lead on the points table.
With their burly forwards, the team’s strength cannot be underestimated especially in crunch encounters.
They have proven to be a force to reckon with after gaining momentum, heading into round two, to emerge one of the favourites for the title.
Panthers after the bye last week will be hoping for a fresh start to their campaign.
In an earlier interview, team manager Delaney Yagona said the team would look into their weak links during their week break.
He said fitness was another focus as the hot and humid weather proved a challenge for the players in the weekly competition.
Meanwhile Ngatangiia/Matavera Sea Eagles will host Arorangi Bears in the other premier clash this week.
The Sea Eagles survived a major scare for a slender win in round one against the Bears at Raemaru Park.
All premier matches will kick off at 4.30pm.
Teimurimotia Park: Bulldogs-Panthers – 3pm Reserves, 4.30pm Premiers; Nukupure Park – 1pm U11 Panther-Eels, 1pm U11 Sea Eagles-Bears, 1.30pm U13 Panthers-Eels, 2.15pm U13 Sea Eagles-Bears, Reserves 3pm Sea Eagles-Eels, Premiers 4.30pm Sea Eagles-Bears.