Jay Blackberry's return gives Launceston the best midfield in the competition, according to Lauderdale coach Darren Winter.
After two weeks in the development league, the Blues co-captain will make his long-awaited return from a ruptured ACL in Saturday's clash with the 5-1 Southern Bombers at Windsor Park.
Blackberry's inclusion is the Blues' only change from the side that beat Kingborough before the bye, while Lauderdale regained Ryan Wiggins, Ethan Whish-Wilson and Devils Nic Baker and Mitch Anderton after a loss to Glenorchy last week.
Winter, who could yet miss the match due to his running for United Australia Party in the Franklin electorate, was rather more diplomatic in his assessment of Launceston than earlier in the year, when he told media that his club "didn't like" the Blues.
"I think Mitch [Thorp] has done a really good job with them so far," Winter said.
"I think he picked [them] up pretty unorganised ... they lost a lot of players in the off-season so for him to pick them up and get them back on track so quickly is a credit to him.
"If you look at their midfield Blackberry will probably be in this week again who's a state midfielder, [Tim] Bristow - state midfielder, [Jobi] Harper, [Brodie] Palfreyman, they've probably got the best midfield in the competition.
"They'll be a much better team than they were in the first round.
"If we play like we did last week they'll certainly beat us by a large margin."
Fresh from the week off, Thorp was happy to have his star midfielder back but baulked at the notion of having the league's best centremen.
"I think labelling our midfield the best is just Darren being Darren - I think North Launny have got a few runs on the board," Thorp said.
"We'll just get back to what we know, get our hands dirty, get to work inside and try and lock it in our forward half after that.
"For Jay it's simply about coming back and doing the team things - he doesn't need to do anything outside of pressure the ball carrier, tackle, and get the ball back for us."
The Blues have enjoyed three wins from their last four games since falling to Lauderdale in round two, when the Southern Bombers overturned a 15-point second quarter deficit to win by five goals.
Thorp said his players were more settled than they were last time round and would feel more comfortable meeting the two-time grand finalists on home turf.
"Obviously we've got a few new faces back in the side - Alec Wright didn't play last time, Grant Holt didn't play, Jay Blackberry so our team looks a little bit different.
"The boys have got over the hurdle of winning a few games, now it's just about getting into the contest, winning the ball around the stoppage and getting it inside our forward half."
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