Fremantle are preparing for "footy war" this Saturday when they take on Sydney for the right to play in next week's grand final, according to captain Matthew Pavlich.
The Dockers will take to Patersons Stadium in their first home preliminary final this weekend hoping to make further history by earning an inaugural grand final berth.
The team is likely to be aided by the return of All Australian defender Michael Johnson from a calf injury.
Johnson trained strongly with the group this morning.
Standing in Fremantle's way this Saturday are the reigning premiers, who arrived in Perth yesterday to give themselves plenty of time to freshen up after demolishing Carlton in last week's semi-final.
The Dockers and the Swans finished the regular season ranked first and second respectively in defence and both structure their games around winning the contested ball first and foremost, then tackling ferociously when you don't.
Pavlich said though the Dockers have tried to developed their own brand of football, the similarities were obvious.
"You admire a lot of teams in the AFL but certainly Sydney, their culture, leaders, the way they go about their business, we very much respect what they're about," he said.
"That's why we're preparing ourselves for what we call footy war, because it's going to go until the end.
"They are contested, big-bodied players.
"What they're about is exactly what we'd like to be about as well."
The Swans have been badly hit by injury at times this season and will go into the preliminary final without spearhead Kurt Tippett and young midfielder Tom Mitchell. They were both injured in last week's win over the Blues.
With dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes and a number of other stars also no chance to return, the team will look very different to the one which the Dockers faced when the two sides drew in round eight - their only meeting in 2013.
Pavlich said although some of the faces had changed, Sydney's hard-nosed style remained the same.
"I think the fundamentals remain the same in the way they play," he said.