Greater Western Sydney are streaking towards their first AFL finals campaign, but the maturing side still prefer the underdog tag.
With only two losses and five wins including a season-changing upset over defending premiers Hawthorn, it’s no surprise the Giants are favourites to claim a first-ever win over Adelaide at Spotless Stadium on Saturday.
The fourth-placed Crows are perched one spot higher on the ladder than GWS (fifth) and boast the same win-loss record.
But young defender Matthew Buntine said his team are still treading carefully when it comes to self-belief.
“We certainly don’t go into games thinking we’re certain to win it,” Buntine told AAP.
“They’re a great side, and we certainly have some inner confidence that if we play the way we want to play we can push them.
“But the underdog title we much prefer, and we’ll be going out there to try and attack them, and hopefully the result comes our way.”
A Giants victory will also herald three straight wins for the first time since the club’s inception in 2012.
But an average of 87 points has stood between the two sides to date, and more than 10 goals separated them in last season’s two meetings.
To reverse that record, the Giants must be faultless in a couple of key areas.
When it comes to goal accuracy, the fledgling side are ranked second last of the 18 teams with a 43.7 per cent success rate, while the Crows are perched at fourth on 52.3 per cent.
Coach Leon Cameron has also signalled his squad’s much-improved defence must rise another notch if they’re to counter livewire attacking duo Eddie Betts (26 goals) and Taylor Walker (21).
Buntine knew he and his fellow defenders would have their work cut out, and was glad co-captain Phil Davis had been cleared to return against his former club after suffering a corked thigh against the Hawks.
“Both Walker and Betts are pretty potent this year,” said the 21-year-old, who will play his third game of the season.
“We’re just hoping for a really good team defence mantra, because obviously their mids are very good as well with (Patrick) Dangerfield and (Scott) Thompson.”
Also vital to the Crows’ midfield prowess is Sam Jacobs, who will duel with in-form Shane Mumford in the ruck.
The Giants have also named Josh Kelly to play, while Adelaide are without halfback Brodie Smith (concussion) and Matthew Jaensch to a season-ending knee injury.