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Preview: Swans v Power

Adam Curley  March 20, 2017 3:30 PM

The Sydney Swans return to the SCG this weekend to take on Port Adelaide.

The Sydney Swans return to the SCG this weekend to take on Port Adelaide.

The Swans enter round one as heavy favourites against Port at the SCG, considering when these two teams met at the venue late last year it was the Bloods that triumphed by 67 points. New captain Josh Kennedy leads a star-studded midfield division alongside fellow 2016 All Australians Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery, and that match-up with Port skipper Travis Boak, Robbie Gray and Ollie Wines should be pivotal to the result. The Power defence will have to find a way to shut down superstar Swan Lance Franklin, as well as Kurt Tippett and the returning Sam Reid, and if their midfield can't put the clamps on the home side's onballers, it could be a long night for Ken Hinkley's men. At the other other of the ground, veteran Heath Grundy will have the big job on Power forward Charlie Dixon.

WHERE AND WHEN: SCG, Saturday, March 25, 4.35pm AEDT

R20, 2016, Sydney 14.16 (100) d Port Adelaide 4.9 (33) at the SCG
R14, 2015, Sydney 14.10 (94) d Port Adelaide 12.12 (84) at the SCG
R2, 2015, Sydney 14.8 (92) d Port Adelaide 6.8 (44) at Adelaide Oval
R20, 2014, Sydney 12.12 (84) d Port Adelaide 7.16 (58) at Adelaide Oval
R13, 2014, Sydney 14.14 (98) d Port Adelaide 13.16 (94) at the SCG

1. When these teams last played the Swans kicked six goals to no score in the opening quarter, and led by 49 points at half-time. Luke Parker was best on ground with 39 disposals, 22 of them contested, and had 11 clearances.

2.Sydney has dominated Port Adelaide recently, winning the past five matches and 13 of the last 14; the Power's only win since 2007 was in round 13, 2013.

3. The Swans and Power have clashed 14 times at the SCG previously, with 11 wins to the home side, including the last seven.

4. Sydney was a high disposal team in 2016, ranked second for disposals per game with 396.5; they were ranked first for contested possessions thanks to an average of 164.2 per game.

5. The Swans dominated most opposition in 2016 at the SCG, winning 10 of 12 games including five by more than 50 points. The Power won five of nine interstate matches in 2016.

6. New Swans captain Josh Kennedy begins the season at No.2 on the AFL's official player ratings, while Port star Robbie Gray is one spot further back, and the pair are sure to cross paths in the middle of the SCG.

The athletic forward failed to play a senior game last year after a horror run with hamstring, calf and Achilles issues, so will be like a new recruit for the Swans. With Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett, Reid gives his side three dangerous tall options inside 50.

PREDICTION: Sydney Swans by 40 points.