Port ideally placed for AFL final: coach

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Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is warning his hot AFL preliminary final favourites against being lulled into a false sense of security by their perfect preparation.

Port's opponents, the Western Bulldogs, are enduring a troubled lead-in to Saturday night's preliminary final at Adelaide Oval.

The Dogs have travelled around Australia - Tasmania, Western Australia, Queensland, back to WA and now to South Australia - ahead of the knockout battle.

The Bulldogs also have an injury cloud hovering over captain Marcus Bontempelli while losing key backman Alex Keath (hamstring) and goalsneak Cody Weightman (concussion).

In stark contrast, Hinkley's unchanged side has remained in Adelaide for the past month and have just one senior-listed player unavailable through injury - Kane Farell (knee).

Asked if his club could have had a better preparation, Hinkley replied: "No, probably not.

"To be fair we have had the right build-up, we have earned the right to be where we are," he told reporters on Friday.

"We have worked really hard, we have trained really well in the last seven or eight days.

"The boys are ready to play. We have just got to come out and execute tomorrow night."

But Hinkley cautioned against dwelling on his side's ideal lead-in or the Dogs' injury woes.

"Talk about systems and styles of play - they withstand injury," he said.

"And we have done that ourselves this year a number of times through the season where we won games when we had a lot of personnel missing.

"So you don't get lulled into a false sense of security.

"Sometimes it can be the complete opposite to that, they can come out and play the way they need to play.

"We back the system and we play to the system and if the team sticks to it you can still be successful."

Hinkley described preliminary finals as "the toughest game of the year to win", given the high-stakes and quality of opposition.

"You have got to get it all right and you have got to have a little bit of luck along the way," he said.

Port last year lost a home prelim by six points against eventual premiers Richmond, with Hinkley certain his current team was better than last year's version.

"They're a little bit more experienced ... (and) they have experienced the game that they're about to play in last year," he said.

"All those things add up a little bit. But what I do know about prelim finals is it's just little bits that make a difference.

"We're playing good, solid footy, I think we are an improved football team and we're a more challenging football team than we were this time last year."

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