Brandon Starcevich kicks the ball during the match between the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane at Marvel Stadium in round 13, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE defender Brandon Starcevich says he has the perfect template for his likely duel with Adelaide livewire Izak Rankine in Sunday's clash at the Gabba.

Starcevich believes training on Lion king Charlie Cameron affords him the ideal preparation for meeting Rankine in their clash at the Gabba.

While Rankine is spending increasing time in the midfield this season, Starcevich expects to match-up on the Adelaide dynamo when he drifts forward.

"It's something I look forward to, taking on those small forwards," Starcevich said on Saturday.

"When he (Rankine) is forward I will probably see a bit of him.

"He starts in the midfield a bit and does some good work around stoppages so that's on the mids there and then I will take him when he goes forward I think.

"I love the challenge. The competitive side of me really enjoys it, it keeps me on my toes week to week.

"At training I get to play on some of the best as well in Charlie ... they keep me on my toes during the week as well."


The Lions (eight wins, six losses, one draw) entered the round in eighth place with four consecutive wins bolstering their finals chances.

"The energy is pretty high at the moment," Starcevich said.

"Every game is pretty important for us and we're sticking with that mentality that we want to win every game from here until to the end of the year."

In contrast, the 14th-placed Crows (five wins, nine losses, one draw) are set to miss the finals for a seventh-straight season.

But Starcevich noted Adelaide's strong last-start win against Greater Western Sydney. 

"They played really well against the Giants last week so we're expecting their best tomorrow and their strengths are really hard to stop," he said.

"But we know our best is capable of taking on anyone."

Brandon Starcevich celebrates kicking a goal during the match between Brisbane and St Kilda at the Gabba in round 14, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

The Crows have replaced half-back Will Hamill (finger) with veteran Brodie Smith while the Lions have summoned Jack Payne to replace the axed Darragh Joyce.