Geelong v Sydney | Friday, September 23, 7.50pm (AEDT), MCG, Melbourne
The Cats appear to have the edge here after earning last weekend off with their qualifying win over Hawthorn while Sydney had two tough games in a row and face a six day turnaround.
Is this a clear advantage most think it is? Will the Cats hit the ground running, or will they take time to get up to the tempo of finals football?
The last time they met Geelong had trouble getting going and only managed a score of 9 goals 6, while the Swans lead by Buddy Franklin won easily.
Sydney’s defence will keep them in the game a long time and it will require a big game from Patrick Dangerfield and perhaps someone like Steven Motlop for the Cats to post a score.\
The Swans will probably have to do without backman Callum Mills and the speedy Gary Rohan, both injured during the finals campaign.
Ruck/forward Kurt Tippett will probably return to counter the Cats’ height and bulk.
As always, the ace in the pack is Buddy Franklin. How the Cats stop him is anyone’s guess, but of more concern is the form of Swans’ small forwards Isaac Heeney, Tom Papley and Ben McGlynn.
Geelong have tended to be too big in defence most weeks this season and may not be as nimble as Sydney’s smaller men.
The Swans to be the first Sydney team though to the Grand Final.
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Las time they met: Rd.16, 2016 – Geelong 60 lost to Sydney 98
Tip: Sydney Swans $2.30
Line tip: Sydney Swans +7.5
B: C.Enright, T.Lonergan, L.Henderson
HB: J.Kolodjashnij, H.Taylor, A.Mackie
C: C.Guthrie, J.Selwood, S.Selwood
HF: S.Motlop, R.Stanley, M.Blicavs
F: L.McCarthy, T.Hawkins, J.Bartel
FOLL: Z.Smith, P.Dangerfield, M.Duncan
I/C: J.Bews, J.Caddy, J.Cowan, S.Menegola
EMG: N.Cockatoo, S.Kersten, T.Ruggles
IN: L.Henderson, J.Bews
OUT: D.Menzel, T.Ruggles
B: D.Rampe, A.Aliir, N.Smith
HB: H.Marsh, H.Grundy, J.Laidler
C: J.Lloyd, J.Kennedy, I.Heeney
HF: G.Hewett, L.Franklin, L.Parker
F: T.Papley, K.Tippett, B.McGlynn
FOLL: S.Naismith, D.Hannebery, K.Jack
I/C: Z.Jones, T.Mitchell, X.Richards, G.Rohan
EMG: H.Cunningham, T.Nankervis, J.Rose
IN: K.Tippett, Z.Jones
OUT: J.McVeigh, T.Nankervis