Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson feared West Coast would bring its best to Etihad Stadium on Friday night - in both intensity and personnel - and the Eagles haven't disappointed at the selection table.
Trumpeted as one of the premiership favourites during the pre-season, the Eagles have stumbled their way through the first 12 rounds. But the club is confident there is still time for a revival.
But it must begin now and the Eagles have shown their hand by rushing back four big names from injury - Darren Glass (hip), Beau Waters (quadriceps), Josh Kennedy (calf) and Mark LeCras (forearm) - to ensure they will field one of their strongest teams for the season.
The four - part of six inclusions alongside Patrick McGinnity and Bradd Dalziell - all passed fitness tests during the week.
The Hawks have brought in Shane Savage to replace Isaac Smith, out with a calf complaint.
Star defender Waters will play just his fifth game of the season and along with Glass will be crucial in attempting to stop the league's most productive forward line.
Clarkson was not surprised West Coast pulled the trigger on a recall for its stars, knowing the Eagles need to start claiming big scalps if they are to save their season and make the final eight.
''They are a talented group of players, we saw that last year, and they are probably going to push out their best side on paper for the year,'' he said.
Ashton Hams, Brad Sheppard, Jamie Cripps and Jacob Brennan were the four players to be dumped, while Adam Selwood (back) and Josh Hill (hamstring) will miss through injury.
Sitting ninth with a 6-5 record, the Eagles appear to be the team most capable of displacing one of the top eight sides in the run home to finals, but it will be no easy task.
The Eagles face seven of the top eight (all bar Richmond) in the last 11 rounds.
The Eagles are 0-4 against top eight teams this year but they have won both their games in Victoria and are 4-1 on the road.
Clarkson said John Worsfold's team was better than its ladder position indicated.
''They have lost a couple of games over in the west that they don't usually drop,'' he said.
''I'm sure they would like to be a couple more wins above where they are, but we think they have got the talent to be a couple more wins above where they are as well.''