Esava Ratugolea and Sam Powell-Pepper celebrate Port Adelaide's win over Fremantle at Adelaide Oval in R5, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is doing his best to play down the significance of his side's blockbuster clash with Collingwood on Saturday afternoon.

The Power are primed for their difficult assignment at the MCG, flying high in third spot on the ladder with a 4-1 record.

An interstate win over the reigning premier would be a huge early statement of intent to the rest of the competition.

"It's round six against a very good team on their home deck," Hinkley said.

"It's tough; it's always going to be and every week is. There's not much difference (this week).

"We're going over (to Melbourne) with the mindset that we're going over to get a win and come back.

"The reality is they're probably turning up with the same thought, so it's going to be an interesting contest."


Port will be without two of its most dangerous forwards, having chosen to rest veteran spearhead Charlie Dixon, and with fellow tall Jeremy Finlayson suspended.

Hinkley insisted the call to leave out Dixon for the Collingwood clash was made before the start of the season and said the 33-year-old would be managed at stages throughout the year.

The combined absence of Dixon, Finlayson and Ollie Lord (knee) has opened the door for former Western Bulldogs ruckman Jordon Sweet to make his club debut alongside fellow off-season recruit Ivan Soldo.

The new Power pair will engage in a tag-team battle with Magpies ruck duo Darcy Cameron and Mason Cox.

Jordon Sweet poses during Port Adelaide's official team photo day at Alberton Oval on February 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"We're very comfortable and we have forecast for a while that we're not against the opportunity to play two rucks," Hinkley said.

"The important part about that is both boys have shown the capability of hitting the scoreboard."

Collingwood named Scott Pendlebury in an unchanged line-up after the 388-game veteran was cleared to play despite rib damage sustained in the last-start win over Hawthorn.

Hinkley doesn't expect his players to target Pendlebury for extra physical attention.

"(That tactic) is a bit in the past probably, but Scott Pendlebury's been a great player, so I'm more worried about the great player than anything else,'' Hinkley said.

"The Collingwood team collectively are a real challenge and Pendles has played a lot of footy - he won't be out there unless he's 100 per cent."


Likewise, Hinkley said the Power wouldn't single out Collingwood match-winner Nick Daicos despite the prospect of using Willem Drew or Lachie Jones in a tagging role.

"He'll be (one of) a number of people that we're concerned about," Hinkley said.

"We do get caught in this one a bit, but Nick Daicos is a star and has proven to be."

Willem Drew under pressure from Kade Chandler during the match between Port Adelaide and Melbourne at Adelaide Oval in round three, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

Port has won three straight games at the MCG since being handed a 71-point thrashing by Collingwood on the hallowed turf just over a year ago.

"There's so many things that go into why you do and don't win at different venues," Hinkley said.

"It's just one of those things that's happened for us, you know? Our last loss at the 'G was against Collingwood, so I'm sure they'll be drawing on that."