Crusaders centre Ryan Crotty expects to face a "fired up" Lions side when the two teams collide in their Super Rugby clash on Saturday.
Crotty, who will start at outside centre in Johannesburg, is set to take on Lionel Mapoe and Rohan Janse van Rensburg in the midfield.
The Lions duo have been superb this year and with their whole XV rested and fresh, the All Black is expecting a hard game at Ellis Park.
"They will come out pretty fired up, they rested a lot of guys last week so and I imagine they'll be in a good place," he told AllBlacks.com.
"They're probably closest to the New Zealand sides of any of the South African or Australian teams."
The Crusaders won 43-37 in their previous trip to Johannesburg earlier this year but Crotty thinks it won't be as high scoring this time around.
"They scored a lot of points (in the previous meeting) but they might possibly tighten up their defence (on Saturday). They kind of live and die by their attack and it scores them a lot of points," he said.
"But they turn over a lot of ball and that creates counter-attack and turnover opportunities for us which has been pretty strong this year, so if we can get our defence right and force a few turnovers then we'll give ourselves an opportunity to score points against them."
He added on their own preparations: "Everyone's pretty pumped but I'm not sure if the psyche of having been successful in the past comes into it. We know this week is going to be a big challenge and we'll be up for it."