Mitchell fit as Souths aim to exploit Penrith 'cracks'

After talking the talk and goading Penrith by saying he could see "a few cracks in the windscreen", South Sydney's Latrell Mitchell will have the chance to walk the walk.

Mitchell's comments came ahead of Thursday night's encounter between the two clubs and follow an eventful few weeks for the reigning NRL premiers.

After losing the World Club Challenge to St Helens and the opening round of the season with a defeat at home to Brisbane, Penrith have been under the microscope.

A post-game blow-up between five-eighth Jarome Luai and interchange forward Jaeman Salmon has dominated headlines, and questions are being asked of the Panthers' ability to challenge for a third-straight title without Api Koroisau and Viliame Kikau.

"He's spent some time with the boys over there on the World Cup tour, he's having a bit of fun with them," Souths coach Jason Demetriou said.

"We're under no illusions as to how tough this game is going to be.

"They've lost a game in round one and they lost by a point, there's a long way to go before we start talking about chinks in an impressive armour."

Mitchell is set to overcome a minor knee injury to face the premiers after he trained on Wednesday at Redfern Oval with a bandage on his knee.

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary said his side would take Mitchell's comments with a grain of salt.

"I don't think we need any extra motivation," he said.

"We're really focused on getting our own game right ... it's a great opportunity to get our season up and running."

Cleary claimed he had pulled Luai and Salmon aside to air their differences, but said their fulltime back-and-forth was a good sign.

"We had a chat and got them in the headmaster's office," Cleary said.

"It was quite humorous, but obviously it wasn't a great look either. It was a bit of frustration on the boys' behalf.

"You want them to compete hard, there was some frustration throughout the night."

Penrith have won nine of the last 10 encounters between the two clubs and haven't lost two straight home games in the NRL since 2019.

Souths are without forwards Jai Arrow and Tevita Tatola, although the latter should be right to face the Sydney Roosters in round three.

"We know how hard it's going to be and I said to the boys the process doesn't care who's on the field or who we're playing against," Demetriou said.

"We've got to be really professional with how we approach a game and we've got to do the things that we've been working on."