On paper Collingwood have the antithesis of what's considered the ideal preparation for an AFL preliminary final.
Two key players in major doubt, a captain sidelined by suspension, an interstate flight and a six-day turnaround after two fiercely contested finals.
To say nothing of the grief to come when they attend the funeral of former teammate John McCarthy on Thursday.
However, Swans coach John Longmire senses if there is one man who can settle the team's minds and bodies ahead of Friday night it's sports science guru David Buttifant.
"David Buttifant's in charge of their sports science, who I know really well," said Longmire, adding he's preparing for in-doubt pair Alan Didak (calf) and Chris Dawes (knee) to be either included or omitted.
"He's an experienced person in that area of the game.
"He's been around football a long time, and particularly with teams that have been around at the pointy end of the season.
"I'm sure they've got enough experience in their club to be able to prepare themselves physically and mentally for this game."
The Swans have lost an incredible 11 straight games to the Magpies, the most recent being an eight-point defeat at ANZ Stadium in round 20.
Longmire said the losing streak would not be a topic of discussion between him and his players this week.
The second-year coach also dismissed the notion ANZ Stadium held less of a home-ground advantage compared to the club's regular SCG base.
But in an ominous sign for the Swans, Longmire noted the challenge awaiting on Friday night would be more immense than the test they failed on August 11.
"He (Dale Thomas) didn't play much against us last time, and (Dane) Swan didn't play either," he said.
"So their midfield has been strengthened since last time we played."
The Magpies also boast ruck talent Darren Jolly, who is making a mockery of the workload that comes without a back-up ruckman in the team.
"He's almost in career-best form. His ruck work has been outstanding. He's running around now doing 95 per cent of the ruck work, if not more," Longmire said.
"He's been fantastic. That's a real challenge for our ruckmen, to make sure Darren Jolly's influence on the ground is reduced."
Longmire confirmed on Monday key defender Heath Grundy would take hamstrung Ben McGlynn's place in the side that defeated Adelaide by 29 points in week one of the finals.
He wouldn't rule out further changes to the team that will battle the Magpies for a place in the grand final.
"Heath will come straight back in and what else we put around that - we're still yet to settle on that," he said.