Playing Adelaide in front of a full house of Crows fans is about as challenging as it gets in the AFL this season, according to Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley.
The Magpies will take on the Crows in front of a capacity crowd at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
And not only do Adelaide have the hottest form in the league with seven-straight wins, Collingwood will have to contend with the Crows honouring Scott Thompson’s 300th game milestone.
“This is as big an ask that I reckon the competition is supplying at the moment,” Buckley said.
“We’re really looking forward to going over there and testing ourselves in probably the fiercest of cauldrons.”
The Magpies maintained their faint finals hopes last weekend with an upset win over GWS.
After a season plagued by injury, Collingwood fielded their strongest team for the year.
But on Saturday night they will be without forward Alex Fasolo, who has re-injured his left shoulder.
Fasolo returned last weekend from five games out with the injury, but jarred his shoulder late in the match.
Buckley admitted they were left wondering whether they took too much of a risk by playing Fasolo.
“It’s touch and go, but we don’t think he’ll come up,” he said.
“And I suppose we go back to asking, did we make the right call putting him out there last week?”
Key forward Travis Cloke trained on Thursday without a glove, after the AFL fined him $1500 for playing with one that had not been approved.
Asked about the issue in his Thursday media conference, Buckley raised laughs by thoughtfully stroking his chin with the same glove that earned Cloke his fine.
“He won’t be wearing it again,” Buckley said.
“He took a few marks out there today without it and he will be taking marks this (Saturday) without it.
“It’s clearly not something we have full control over – we actually spoke this morning to the boys about the bits of equipment they’re in charge of.
“Getting their boots right, we slipped over a little bit last week, and clearly a glove is another part of that.
“We won’t be making that mistake again.”