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Bucks cagey about final team

Press Conference: Nathan Buckley Hear from coach Nathan Buckley as he discusses Sunday's game against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.

Jaidyn Stephenson's replacement in Collingwood's forward line will remain a secret until Friday night, with Josh Daicos, Ben Reid and Ben Crocker jockeying for one spot.

Coach Nathan Buckley declined to show his hand, at least for now, offering some cryptic answers about weighing up the contenders' "aerial traits" and ability to "cover the ground".

He also expected little to change in the way his offence functioned despite losing last year's NAB AFL Rising Star Stephenson, who will serve a betting-related ban for the rest of the home and away season.

"Our general shape of how we attack and our method of attack is not just about the player or players that might be in front of the ball," Buckley said.

"Offence starts with ball in hand and sometimes you're on the last line of defence and there's a fair bit of work to be done to move the ball and to give each other the best opportunity to firstly beat defences, then be able to score.

"I think we've proven over a long period of time that that actually stacks up OK with changing personnel."

Buckley stopped short of guaranteeing anyone a spot ahead of Sunday's clash with the Western Bulldogs, but said son-of-a-gun Daicos was "AFL ready" after an impressive stretch of VFL form.

"His attitude's been first class and the last month or five weeks, he's put together a compelling case to play AFL footy," Buckley said.

"He's AFL ready – there's no doubt about it – so it's been a really impressive block from him and he's enjoying his footy and you can definitely see that coming out in the way he's going about it."

Last year's top draft pick, dashing defender Isaac Quaynor, is the other potential inclusion, and Buckley said there would "be a point we'll play him".

"At the moment, he's behind some small defenders who are playing their roles really well," Buckley said.

"Isaac continues his development and continues to cut his teeth in the game and understand the way we want to play the game and he's playing really well."

Star pair Taylor Adams (groin) and Jamie Elliott (knee) are at least a week away from resuming from their respective injuries, while Buckley said Tom Langdon (knee) could yet return this season.

"'Langers' is travelling OK and he's tracking in the right direction," the coach said.

"We don't really have a timeframe on it as such but all of the signs are that the rest and getting off that knee has been positive.

"There's a possibility of him being able to get back, which the initial concerns were it wasn't going to happen this year."

Buckley was wary about the Bulldogs' knack for outnumbering the opposition at the contest and praised their ball movement.

The Magpies kicked five goals to two in the last quarter in round four to overrun the Dogs by 14 points.