GREATER Western Sydney has dropped veteran forward Steve Johnson for Thursday night's crunch qualifying final with Adelaide at Adelaide Oval.

Johnson has been the subject of much discussion over his place in the Giants' best side, but has lost his spot after kicking just two goals in his past four games.

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The former Cats premiership hero has been named an emergency for the Giants, alongside first-year players Tim Taranto and Harry Perryman.

Devon Smith will also join Johnson on the sidelines with a knee injury, with the Giants recalling Matt de Boer and Harrison Himmelberg.

It is a meteoric rise for de Boer, who was delisted by Fremantle last year but is now a member of the Giants' flag tilt.

The Crows have lost star midfielder Rory Sloane after last week's appendix surgery, but as expected have regained captain Taylor Walker and key defender Daniel Talia after being managed in round 23.

Hugh Greenwood also comes back for the minor premiers. Backman Alex Keath and second-year forward Wayne Milera have been cut by the Crows to make way for their changes.

Milera is listed as an emergency for Adelaide, alongside veteran midfielder Scott Thompson and defender Andy Otten.

Thompson has played just one game this season, when he collected 10 disposals in the Crows' round 16 win over the Western Bulldogs.

The game shapes as a huge contest in the context of both clubs' premiership aspirations, with the winner progressing to a home preliminary final.

Thursday, September 7

Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney at the Adelaide Oval, 7.20pm ACST

In: T.Walker, D.Talia, H.Greenwood
Out: R.Sloane (illness), A.Keath (omitted), W.Milera (omitted)

In: Boer, H.Himmelberg
Out: S.Johnson (omitted), D.Smith (knee)