Crows have need for speed against AFL Cats

Michael Ramsey

Adelaide are being urged to be bold as they desperately seek to keep their AFL finals hopes alive against Geelong on Thursday night.

Last year's grand finalists sit two games outside the top eight and must win at Adelaide Oval to stand any chance of partaking in September action.

Star forward Eddie Betts will return from a hamstring injury and Richard Douglas (ankle) has been ruled out while key defender Daniel Talia (foot) has been named and will be given until the last minute to prove his fitness.

The Crows have also injected speed into their line-up in the hopes of finding a way through the AFL's most miserly defence.

Riley Knight, Rory Atkins and Lachlan Murphy return in place of omitted trio Curtly Hampton, Myles Poholke and Darcy Fogarty.

"All those guys had a run in the SANFL over the weekend and they bring some genuine running power for us, which is important," coach Don Pyke said.

"Clearly tomorrow we need to come prepared to take on the opposition.

"I think we've seen when we do that, we move the ball a little bit quicker and it gives us the chance to get through and score.

"We're looking forward to creating some more opportunities tomorrow night."

Geelong have lost Harry Taylor (foot) to injury along with Jordan Murdoch and Lachie Fogarty, the trio replaced by Daniel Menzel, Wylie Buzza and Sam Simpson.

Menzel has been battling a complex groin injury but will make a long-awaited return to play his first game since round five.

Alex Keath is listed as an emergency for the Crows and looms as the most likely replacement for Talia should he be unable to line up against Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins.