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Crows pair primed to play

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  August 10, 2017 2:45 PM

Don Pyke Presser August 10 Senior Coach Don Pyke speaks to media ahead of our Round 21 clash with Essendon.
Both trained well, so we'd expect they would be available for selection

Adelaide defender Daniel Talia and winger David Mackay are set to face Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

Talia (groin) and Mackay (corked thigh) didn't finish last weekend's Showdown, but got through training on Thursday morning.

"Both trained well, so we'd expect they would be available for selection," Crows coach Don Pyke said.

"We'll see how they pull up in the morning.

"We're on a slightly shorter break, so we just want to make sure they will be right, but we expect those guys to be named."

However, swingman Andy Otten tweaked his ankle at training and will be unavailable for the clash with the Bombers.

"We put him on some crutches as a pre-caution," Crows coach Don Pyke said.

"At this stage, it looks like a minor ankle sprain, we'll get that assessed in the next day or two, hopefully it's maybe a one-weeker."

Otten was an emergency for last weekend's 84-point thrashing of Port Adelaide, but would've come into the side if Talia was ruled out with Kyle Hartigan (hamstring) still sidelined.

This will be the Crows' second game in a stretch that sees them play three times in the space of 12 days, finishing with a blockbuster round 22 clash against Sydney next Friday night.

With a six-point break over Greater Western Sydney and Richmond at the top of the premiership table, there could be a temptation for the Crows to manage their list heading into the finals.

Pyke doesn't want to tempt fate and change what has been so successful this season, having seen his side need an amazing comeback to secure a draw against Collingwood two weeks ago.

"The challenge is, if we start getting too cute and over manage … players get out of the sync of training and playing," he said.

"It's sometimes hard to get back and going again, or takes a little time, and certainly this isn't the time where I want to experiment too much.

"If guys aren't right, they won't play.

"If they are, and there's no significant risk it will cause them issues long term, then they'll play."