Ahead of its first final since 2020, St Kilda's selection panel has already made a crucial decision regarding its backline.
Ex-Port Adelaide defender Dougal Howard, who has missed a number of games due to his on-field performances and injury, is expected to be overlooked in favour of Zaine Cordy for Saturday afternoon's elimination final bout with GWS.
Cordy, a former Bulldog, has become coach Ross Lyon's preference, with Cordy a near-certainty to play in his first final as a Saint.
The key-position defender was a staple in the Bulldogs' back six before moving to Moorabbin at the end of the 2022 season. He was a part of the Bulldogs' 2016 premiership side, as well as the side that fell in the 2021 Grand Final to the Demons.
Speaking to the media on Thursday, Lyon confirmed Howard is unlikely to feature in his side ahead of the Saints' Saturday meeting with the Giants.
"He is unlikely," started Lyon. "I had a good conversation with Dougal in my office. We talk pretty well. He understands possession is nine-tenths of the law.
"Cordy has done a pretty good job.
"Dougal has missed a bit (of time), but in saying that, it was a wrist [injury] and Dougal really grew throughout the year with us. In fairness to Zaine, he has had some good scalps and played well."
The Saints will also consider midfielder Seb Ross for Saturday. The veteran has only managed one full game since Round 16, with Lyon stating that a 'big decision' was to be made around the on-baller as he hasn't managed much game-time over the past month.
Lyon and his coaching team still have plenty to ponder ahead of this weekend's hotly anticipated contest. The last time St Kilda hosted a home final was in 2011; the final year of Lyon's initial Saints stint.
The Saints are set to take on the Giants on Saturday at 3:20 PM (AEST) at the MCG.