SYDNEY v GWS GIANTS
SCG SAT 0420 PM
The Swans needed a last quarter surge to get over the Giants in round 22, kicking 6.5 to win by 20 points. Sydney took control of the ball in the midfield, winning the clearances 41-34 and kept the pressure on with 76 tackles to 66 for the Giants.
Lance Franklin is obviously the X-Factor for the Swans because without him the Wolf would favour the Giants in this match. Buddy comes into this match fresh after missing the Swans round 23 fixture against the Hawks. Three weeks of recovery for his groin problem should have him cherry ripe for this elimination final.
GWS GIANTS (WWWLL)
There are a number of key GWS players who are listed as ‘test’ this week, but the Giants run a huge risk bringing them straight back into the side for such a crucial match. The list includes Aidan Corr (groin), Matt de Boer (hamstring), Brett Deledio (calf), Matt Flynn (quad), Toby Greene (hamstring), Sam Taylor (hamstring) and Ryan Griffen (hamstring).
STATS THAT MATTER
- Callan Ward and Josh Kennedy will be an intriguing battle in the midfield with the Giants co-captain and Sydney captain both having 27 disposals in their recent match. Ward won the clearances 8-5 and was best on ground until Lance Franklin exploded in the final quarter.
- Despite having Lance Franklin in the forward line the Swans have struggled to score this season, ranked 12th in the AFL for points per game. Their scoring struggles stem from their inability to get the ball inside 50, ranked a lowly 15th for inside 50s per game.
- The Swans have cracked the 90 point mark just twice in their past 13 matches (vs Kangaroos and Saints at Etihad Stadium).
- The Wolf expects this match to be close with 13 of the Swans matches this season decided by 18 points or less. The total points over/under is set at 5.5 which we think the Swans will clear if punters want some more value than the head to head market.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The total points over/under is set at 158.5 which was cleared by these two teams in round 3 (87-103 win to the Swans) but not in their most recent match in round 22 (60-80 win to the Swans). With scattered showers expected in Sydney on Saturday afternoon the Wolf expects a scoreline in the range of 65-85.
The Swans have the psychological edge over the Giants and with key GWS players missing we expect Sydney to get the win at the SCG.
HOW IT’S SHAPING UP
Swans by 23 points