You’re supposed to throw the form book out the window before a Showdown.
But never has there been a bigger discrepancy in form between Adelaide and Port Adelaide than ahead of Saturday’s Showdown XXXXI.
The Crows are flying high, sitting third on the AFL ladder after winning their last three games by a combined 292 points and firming as strong premiership contenders.
The Power, on the other hand, are a team in disarray, with their 40-point loss at home to Melbourne turning up the heat even further on coach Ken Hinkley and his underperforming troops over a season gone awry.
History, however, suggests it won’t be so straight forward.
“I like to back in history,” Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker told reporters on Monday.
“Internally we know we’re playing some good footy. But Showdowns are always challenging.
“Wherever you are on the ladder, it’s a good spectacle for the fans. I’m sure it will be like that.”
Port expect the same, despite talk they are the biggest pre-Showdown underdogs of all time.
Travis Boak concedes he has never faced a more challenging time as Power captain.
“We’ve been challenged a lot during the year and that’s what happened when you’re losing games of footy – your whole club gets challenged,” he said.
“The only way forward is to stay positive, stay together and improve.
“We know they’re the in-form team in the competition right now. We know we’re up against a big, big challenge.”
Both sides have also received contrasting news on the injury front.
Chad Wingard (hamstring), Hamish Hartlett (calf) and Billy Frampton (groin) have been ruled out for the rest of the season while key forward Charlie Dixon (ankle) is in doubt for the Power.
Adelaide, meanwhile, could regain two-time Showdown medallist Sam Jacobs, who is nearing a return from an ankle injury, while Paul Seedsman (corked buttock) faces a fitness test later in the week.