Max King celebrates during the round eight match between St Kilda and North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium, May 4, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ST KILDA is set to be boosted by the availability of Max King on Saturday night after the key forward was cleared to face Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium.

The 23-year-old jarred his knee in a tackle against West Coast last weekend and was substituted out of the game at Optus Stadium in the third quarter, before being cleared of structural damage.

But after passing a fitness test and training fully at RSEA Park on Thursday morning, King is set to face twin brother Ben for just the third time in their AFL careers.

The Saints are considering recalling inside midfielder Brad Crouch for the first time since round one, following a strong run of form in the VFL after returning from a knee injury.

Crouch has collected 38, 33 and 31 disposals in the past three games for Sandringham, also laying 12 tackles and kicking a goal in the thrilling win over Frankston last Saturday night.


But after winning its first game since defeating North Melbourne in round eight, St Kilda coach Ross Lyon indicated that it might be difficult to make too many changes to the 23.

"We're really optimistic (with King). We expect him to train and train fully, so if he gets through pain-free he’ll play," Lyon said at RSEA Park.


"It's not 100 per cent (for Crouch) 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."

Lyon said the Saints will consider using Marcus Windhager in another tagging role after he clamped Eagles young gun Harley Reid after half-time in Perth, restricting the 2023 No. 1 pick to just three second-half touches after 17 across the opening two quarters.

Marcus Windhager and Harley Reid during the round 12 match between West Coast and St Kilda at Optus Stadium, June 1, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

Carlton coach Michael Voss sent Alex Cincotta to Suns captain Touk Miller a fortnight ago with great success, while star pair Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell are both equal tenth in the AFL Coaches Association player of the year award.

"(Tagging) is not something we typically do. We felt it necessary after that young player Harley Reid (collected) seven clearances (in the first half)… 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."

Gold Coast is in the eight after winning all seven home games to start 2024, including the two fixtures held in Darwin, but the Suns are yet to win an away game under Damien Hardwick, losing all five road trips by an average margin of 38.4 points.

Hunter Clark handpasses during the round 18 match between Gold Coast and St Kilda at Heritage Bank Stadium, July 15, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

If St Kilda is going to keep its fading finals chance alive, they will need to extend Gold Coast's losing streak on the road to 13 straight games.

"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.

"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."