Collingwood utility Tyson Goldsack has been ruled out of Friday night's clash with Hawthorn after knee tendinitis flared up.
However coach Nathan Buckley says he has number of potential replacements to choose from who have displayed good VFL form and deserve a spot.
The Magpies will determine at selection this afternoon whether to include first-gamers Darcy Moore, Jonathan Marsh or Matt Scharenberg, or replace Goldsack with ruckman Brodie Grundy who is available after suffering a neck injury at training a fortnight ago.
Buckley said Ben Reid would be unavailable as the swingman had yet to complete a full VFL game.
Reid's latest injury is a corked calf and the club will be cautious because of his battles with soft tissue injuries over the past 18 months.
Buckley was non-committal about who might get the nod to replace Goldsack but said Collingwood's reduced injury list meant he had the luxury of picking players who were knocking down the door to be selected, rather than merely having to fill spots.
He said Sam Dwyer and Patrick Karnezis were also in the mix due to their VFL form.
"We feel like with the competition for spots that exists at the moment, when the players are ready, they're ready and they have had to earn their opportunities," Buckley said.
Buckley conceded that regardless of the line-up, playing the defending premiers was an enormous challenge, but one they welcomed.
He said he enjoyed the type of niggle the Hawks brought to games but in reality every team tried to enforce their will on their opponents during games.
"The most significant time that happens is when there is a 50-50 ball and you go and win it," Buckley said.
"(It's) not meant to be a comfortable place for the opposition to be when you go out and play and we understand full well that is probably where Hawthorn is coming from."
He said while the Magpies' effort in last week's seven-point loss to Fremantle was very good there were moments in the game when the team did not do what was expected and they needed to rectify those lapses to contend with the best.
But Buckley remains confident his side's best football can beat anyone and wants to take the game up to Hawthorn.
"If you want sit on your heels and back up against the ropes and be passive and take what is coming there is only one outcome to that," Buckley said.
"We need to show intent, we need to be aggressive and we need to dictate our terms and we plan to do that against any opposition."