The spectre of Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands is looming large over Adelaide as the Dockers prepare to ride a wave of good fate into Friday night's semifinal at AAMI Stadium.
Sandilands admitted yesterday he had not been satisfied with his performance in the elimination final win over Geelong at the MCG on Saturday night.
But he felt ready to produce a big performance against the Crows.
Sandilands and Nat Fyfe didn't play against the Crows when Fremantle lost by 28 points in Adelaide a month ago.
Sandilands was still recovering from his turf toe injury and Fyfe was ruled out on the morning of the match after tripping over his suitcase and hurting an ankle.
The Crows will be missing key defender Daniel Talia, who will have surgery today on his right forearm, broken during Saturday's qualifying final loss to Sydney.
Talia shut down Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich in the victory over the Dockers and, according to coach Brenton Sanderson, that was the effort that sealed his win in last week's NAB Rising Star award.
"It's amazing in footy how you can go from those highs to the lows in a few days," Sanderson said of Talia's award and injury.
Patrick Dangerfield had a sore jaw after a high tackle from Jude Bolton on Saturday, but Adelaide were confident yesterday that he would play. He was a game-breaker in that last win over the Dockers.
Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs also wielded a strong influence in that match.
But Sandilands promised he would be out to give him a tougher task this time around after his sometimes fumbling effort against the Cats.
"I've come up against him a couple of times and he's a quality ruckman," Sandilands said of Jacobs.
"He's had a great season, so it will be definitely a big challenge. I didn't have a massive impact on the game (against Geelong) and I would have liked to have been involved a bit more.
"But the rest of the guys weighed in and I think it was a good team effort. It was good that I could come back and get three games before the finals and get a bit of match fitness."
Sandilands rejected suggestions that the short break between games and another interstate trip would be major hurdles for Fremantle.
"I don't think it will hurt a great deal; Adelaide are on a six-day break as well," he said.
"The recovery and that that we do these days is second to none and come Friday night we'll be ready to go.
"You want to be able to win anytime anywhere, so coming up against Adelaide we've just got to play like we did against Geelong."
"The recovery and that that we do these days is second to none and come Friday night we'll be ready to go."" *Aaron Sandilands *