An “optimistic” Ross Lyon is expecting Max King to put his hand up for selection pending a pain-free training session at RSEA Park this morning, while a call on for Brad Crouch remains in the air.

King will face a fitness test this morning after jarring his knee against West Coast last weekend, while Crouch has spent the past three weeks in the VFL building himself up from a knee issue of his own.


“We're really optimistic (with Max). We expect him to train and train fully, so if he gets through pain-free he’ll play,” Lyon said at this morning’s press conference.

“It’s not 100 per cent (for Brad) but we’re really weighing it up, looking at the balance of Gold Coast’s midfield. They’re really high-end all those guys so we’ve got to understand how we can work our midfield.

“He’s certainly in the mix, but it’s not 100 per cent.”

Although yet to record a win in an away fixture this season, Gold Coast certainly won’t be pushovers after recording impressive triumphs over Essendon and Geelong in recent weeks.

The past few years of heart-racing match-ups between the Saints and Suns have been characterised by results determined by less than two goals, however last year’s two contests bucked the trend with a 53-point win to St Kilda in Round 4 and a 26-point victory going Gold Coast’s way in Round 18.

“We’ve had a good look at them. They’re on record they want to get it done away from home,” Lyon said.

“There’s big swings and wild fluctuations on the scoreboard and their profile, but it would be fair to say there’s a couple of times in Melbourne where it’s just the last quarter (that’s let them down).

“We’re building, they’re trying to improve their away record. We don’t want to be a victim to the Gold Coast Suns. We want to fight the fight and we want them to be in a battle with us.

“We just want to keep playing that aggressive style of footy that we did in the second half (against West Coast). It’s not always possible to do, sometimes AFL teams take stuff off you, but that’s all in the thread.”

The Suns have no shortage of midfield weapons including Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson and Touk Miller, tempting the redeployment of Marcus Windhager as a tagger after his successful role last weekend on Harley Reid.

Windhager kept the No. 1 draft pick to three touches after a barnstorming first half which yielded seven clearances and 17 disposals to give the Eagles early ascendancy at stoppage and on the scoreboard.

Lyon wouldn’t rule out pulling the same lever against the Suns, however cautioned that previous success wouldn’t automatically result in an identical outcome.

“It’s not something we typically do. We felt it necessary after that young player… Harley Reid(’s) seven clearances… they were pretty handy,” Lyon said.

“We thought that was a significant factor in the game so we did it, but sometimes you go out looking for even luck and (back in) your system and performance.

“We know we can go to it. It’s not off the table but… we’ve only done it two or three times since I’ve been here. You’ve got to balance up your system versus locking someone down. 

“Last week it worked, but it’s no guarantee for the next week.”