Billy Slater
Billy Slater Charles Knight / SMP Images

Slater says Storm have a fight on their hands against Manly

THE Sea Eagles have a big injury list and the Storm is almost at full strength, but Melbourne fullback Billy Slater is expecting a tremendous battle at AAMI Park tonight.

Manly will be without the suspended Richie Fa'aoso, and the injured Joe Galavao, Jason King and Brett Stewart.

But apart from Melbourne's 40-12 thrashing of the northern beaches team in last year's preliminary final, the Storm v Manly rivalry has been the most memorable one over the past decade.

"Whether they've got their star players in or not, they're still a tough side, and they've still got plenty of talent," Slater said.

Despite admitting his side has been flat in recent weeks, with the Storm suffering rare back-to-back defeats, Slater saw positive signs at training last week.

"The training's been really good - we had a good session a couple of days ago. Hopefully we can take that into the game," Slater said.

Manly five-eighth Kieran Foran said playing in Melbourne was the toughest road trip in the NRL.

"There's always talk about their big three (Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith) but I just think they're a complete footy side," Foran said.