The Melbourne Renegades lack the star power of their cross-town rivals but skipper Aaron Finch believes they have the strike power to shut down the Big Bash League tournament favourites.
The Renegades and Melbourne Stars will open the Twenty20 season on Friday night at Etihad Stadium, where a crowd of more than 40,000 is expected.
Despite Brad Hodge and Glen Maxwell switching their allegiance to the Stars and the departure of quicks Shaun Tait (now with Adelaide Strikers), Shane Harwood and Dirk Nannes (Sydney Thunder), Finch said they had a team of in-form players ready to challenge their Shane Warne-led rivals.
'Last time we had a good side but we probably didn't produce the goods,' said Finch ahead of a warm-up game at Windy Hill.
'We've got guys this year who are in really good form in domestic cricket coming into this season.
'We think we've got the fire power to match them.
'We think that we can shut them down in certain areas.'
The pressure will be on Victorian batsman Finch and South African second-Test hero Faf du Plessis to deliver in the absence of Hodge, while all eyes will be on the showdown between spinning greats Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan.
Finch predicted lesser lights like fast bowler Nathan Rimmington and batsmen Will Sheridan, Ben Rohrer and Dan Harris to shine.
'There's a very big change in the team but I'm feeling really confident in our guys that we can match it with any side.'
His Bushrangers' teammate and good pal David Hussey reportedly predicted the Stars would win every game and host the final which made Finch smile: 'That's a big call to make and it's a long way down from there,' he said.
Muralitharan had a kick with Essendon AFL coach James Hird and skipper Jobe Watson before being presented with a guernsey, with the sides sharing a black and red strip.
Finch said the Sri Lankan great would do more for the side than just take wickets.
'Murali has an aura,' he said.
'He gives a lot of guys confidence, knowing you've got someone of his quality backing you up.
'He brings that X factor for us.'