IT'S the toughest assignment the AFL North Coast has to offer.

Travel to Port Macquarie and come away with the four premiership points.

Over the years many teams have travelled south down the Pacific Highway with high hopes, only to drive home sore, sorry and empty handed.

The Coffs Swans are travelling on all eight cylinders at the moment but their undefeated record is on the line today and Port Macquarie doesn't plan on being a welcoming host.

Magpies coach Scott Abercrombie has called on one thing for the players to improve in recent weeks and that's effort. And the Port boys have responded.

The results mightn't be showing but the effort is there and it's that trait that will be most on show when the reigning premier faces the ladder leader.

Coffs Swans playing coach Jay Guthrie is expecting a fired-up opponent.

Now the Swans are seen as the competition benchmark, Guthrie admits his team in the firing line.

"Last week was a tough game (against Grafton) and I think we can expect nothing less for the rest of the season," Guthrie said.

A lot of teams head south with an undermanned line-up but Guthrie is pleased to report the Swans are getting somewhere near full strength.

Four players return to the line-up this afternoon including leading goalkicker Nick von Schill and new recruit Liam O'Halloran who is set to make his debut after moving up from Ballarat.

The Magpies will be closer to full strength as well.

The last time these two met the Swans easily dismantled Port but Guthrie is expecting an improved Magpies outfit to take the field.

"I think they'll have a few back," he said.

"There's two new recruits who are playing for them now and Jesse Schmidt should be closer to full fitness."