It has been a tumultuous off-season for the two clubs, with Essendon under three investigations for supplements that players took last season.
Last November, the AFL suspended Crows chief executive Steven Trigg, former player Kurt Tippett and former football manager Phil Harper over the club's draft tampering and salary cap scandal.
Star Essendon recruit Brendon Goddard said he and his teammates were ready for the inevitable heckling in Friday's clash.
"We'll take it on the chin when it comes to game day and the crowd and potentially players giving the boys a bit of a heckle and a bit of abuse," he said.
"(We're) not worried about it, that's the reality of it.
"These things have happened and we're taking responsibility and we'll let ASADA (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) and WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) investigate."
Goddard is one of few figures at Essendon not caught up in the potential doping scandal, because he joined from St Kilda under free agency after players had taken the supplements in question.
The ASADA investigation will take months, while the AFL is also looking into what happened at Essendon and the club itself has commissioned an independent review into what chairman David Evans has called "irregular practices".
While Goddard said the last fortnight had been quieter at the club, he admitted the players could not help but wonder how the doping investigations would play out.
"Wherever we go, wherever the boys go, (it's) always in the back of our mind regardless of where you are and what you're doing," he said.
Key forward Michael Hurley is out of a moon boot after hurting his ankle in the pre-season and could play against the Crows.
On-baller David Zaharakis could also make the team after a limited pre-season because of injury.