HIGH-FLYING Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin expects to have three key players available for selection for next round's minor premiership showdown against Geelong.
The Demons will travel to Geelong with the chance to clinch a first minor premiership in 57 years and Goodwin is predicting a host of big guns will return for the top-of-the-table clash.
Goodwin said midfield bull Jack Viney will definitely return from suspension, while he expects Tom McDonald (back) and Steven May (general soreness) will also put their hand up for selection.
May was a late withdrawal from the Melbourne team that beat Adelaide by 41 points at the MCG on Sunday, with Goodwin revealing the in-form fullback didn't recover from the six-day break as well as many of his teammates.
"We travelled back from Perth, got home at 6.30am on the Tuesday morning and then had three days home quarantine leading into this game," Goodwin said.
"He (May) was really sore, didn’t recover as well as we would have liked and we were in a position we didn't need to take a risk with him.
"We have got three guys who didn’t play today who will be available next week and we are building some momentum in the backend of the year and the depth of our squad in good shape.
"We know the challenge we have got next week against good opposition on their home ground and we know we have got to keep getting better to make sure our game can challenge the best in the competition."
Sharp-shooter Bayley Fritsch was among the Demons' best against the Crows on Sunday, with the left-footer booting four final-quarter goals to finish with a career best seven majors.
Fritsch's efforts did not surprise Goodwin, who suggested the 24-year-old has been working extremely hard on improving his game over the last few months.
DEMONS v CROWS Full match coverage and stats
"I'm not sure if he is underrated externally, but he is really highly rated internally," Goodwin noted.
"He has kicked 45 goals for the season so he has clearly got some talent … is a tough match-up for opposition teams and kicks straight."
Goodwin hopes Fritsch's goalkicking heroics - and the performance of his side so far this season – has made Melbourne fans proud and the premiership fancies can continue to do so deep into September.
"I feel for all supporters in the competition, but I mainly feel for ours," Goodwin said.
"They are craving to come to the MCG and see their team compete, win and play some significant games.
"They have been on this journey for a long time and they need to know from us that we are doing everything we can to play our best footy for them and make them proud."
While Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks was disappointed to lose the match, the young coach saw enough positives from the performance to indicate the future is bright.
"There were some really good signs from us from what we are working on longer term," Nicks said.
"I am pleased with some of the development and some of the guys that starting to show some form.
"Darcy (Fogarty) is one of them, but also (Ned) McHenry, (Nick) Murray, (Andrew) McPherson, (Chayce) Jones and (Harry) Schoenberg. These guys are all 20 or 21 years old.
"To be playing the footy they are at this point is a real positive for us and quite exciting for our football club to have those guys up and going and playing the level of footy they are."
Nicks singled out Paul Seedsman after the running defender picked up a career-high 36 disposals, while the Adelaide coach was also impressed with veteran forward Tom Lynch.
The Crows announced last week that Lynch would depart the club at the end of the season, but the 30-year-old showed his class by picking up 29 touches and seven marks against the Demons.
"He has been a real important leader for us and I would love to have him stick around the footy club and help us," Nicks said of Lynch.
"His long-term goal is to get into coaching and he will be a very good coach as he has done a lot of that off-field this year.
"But if he decides he is going to have another crack at it and an opportunity shows itself then I wish him all the best."