In a most unpredictable AFL season, Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says only one thing is certain.
Defence and pressure will rule the roost.
"At any time in the next six or eight weeks, you're going to have to build it around pressure more than anything," Hinkley told reporters on Friday.
"Defence and pressure will come to for the fore again, everyone will see that. And that is why the sides at the top of the ladder are really well placed."
One of those sides is Port's next opponent - West Coast.
The second-placed Eagles, minus suspended midfielder Andrew Gaff, return to Adelaide Oval for the clash against the Power - a re-match of last year's remarkable elimination final.
Then, the Eagles won courtesy of a Luke Shuey goal after the final siren of extra-time.
Now, it's a memory Hinkley cares little for.
"I probably think about it at small moments but you just don't get time, the competition moves so quickly," Hinkley said.
"Every side has got bigger things to focus on than what happened 12 months ago or what happened 10 weeks ago. We're focusing on what is going to happen tomorrow."
Which, according to Hinkley for his seventh-placed club, comes back to pressure.
"It's no different to any side whether it's West Coast or ourselves: if you can get pressure on the ball quick as you possibly can, you can certainly beat any team in the competition or you can get beat by any team in the competition," he said.
"There's a simple recipe. But it's not always easy to get the batch together."
Port, just one win inside the top eight but only two premiership points shy of third spot, dropped three players - Sam Powell-Pepper, Riley Bonner and Jack Hombsch.
Dougal Howard returns and will play with a broken left hand with Sam Gray and Aidyn Johnson also summoned.
The Eagles lost Will Schofield (hamstring) and Gaff to an eight-game suspension for striking Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw - though Hinkley was uncertain what impact the ban would have on West Coast.
"Impossible for me to know," he said.
"(Eagles coach) Adam (Simpson) is best placed in that space to know what his players are like.
"Both sides are at a really interesting part of the season - both sides have got no time to focus on stuff that is out of your control now.
"And that is what that would be, I'm sure, for them: it's out of their control now."