Crows good enough to win the flag: coach
Tim Dornin
10:05 AEST Sat Aug 4 2012
Brenton Sanderson
Adelaide Crows coach Brenton Sanderson says his side is good enough to win the AFL flag.

Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson says the Crows are good enough to win the AFL flag but he's more immediately concerned with beating Essendon on Sunday.

The Crows face the Bombers at AAMI Stadium in a game that could have a significant impact on the finals fortunes of both teams this season.

A win for the home side would reaffirm their credentials as a top two contender while Essendon will look to shore up the team's place in the top eight.

Sanderson said there was no reason why his team couldn't match it with other premiership contenders including Hawthorn, Collingwood and Sydney.

"We've shown great improvement and our season's not over yet," he said.

"We've got five more home-and-away games to go and then we'll prepare for a finals campaign.

"But we'll keep our focus really narrow. We'll focus on Essendon this week."

The Crows will go into the game without high-marking forward Kurt Tippett who will miss a second match as he continues to recover from his third concussion in five weeks.

Tippett is a chance, but not certain, to return for round 20 against Fremantle.

Adelaide have included in-form ruckman Sam Jacobs after he missed last weekend's loss to Geelong as well as Sam Shaw who has recovered from an eye injury.

Out of the side is David Mackay because of a broken toe.

After a shocking run with injuries this year, Essendon also have some good players returning including key forward Michael Hurley, defender Cale Hooker and midfielder Sam Lonergan.

But they will be without Angus Monfries who has an ankle injury and Brent Stanton who has general soreness.

Bombers coach James Hird said the game against the Crows would be a big challenge but his side was keen to keep its interstate winning streak alive.

"Adelaide are obviously sitting third on the ladder, so a fantastic team and it's a big round," Hird said.

"Four from four interstate, we'd love to make it five from five."

Sanderson said the Crows would not underestimate the bombers who he believes were "as good as anyone in that first half of the season".

But he said one of his team's strengths this year was not getting ahead of themselves.

"We haven't got our head in the clouds, we're not talking premierships, we're not talking how we're going to go in the finals," he said.

"We're focussing on our next opponent.

"The experts can talk about finals if they want, but our focus will be purely on getting the job done against Essendon."

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