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Heeney predicts fierce battle

Rob Forsaith, AAP  July 12, 2017 10:35 AM

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Isaac Heeney and Toby Greene go head to head in a recent Sydney Derby.

Sydney star Isaac Heeney is predicting a fierce contest when the Swans take on cross-town rivals Greater Western Sydney on Saturday night.

Heeney will play his 50th AFL match on Saturday night, but has already featured in six cross-town derbies, so he has a clear idea of what to expect when the in-form Swans tackle the second-placed Giants at Spotless Stadium.

The two sides are generally fiercely competitive, but nothing seems to bring that trait out more than when they clash.

"There's going to be some seriously contested footy. We're excited and we're ready for it," Heeney said.

"It's going to be a fiery game and it's going to be on.

"They are our rivals.

"They're a quality side. It's going to be hard to stop them but we've performed well during the last month or so. We'll go out there and be confident we can get the win."

GWS coach Leon Cameron acknowledged earlier this week there was no love lost between the teams, who may well meet again in the finals given their present form.

Sydney has rocketed up the ladder from 18th, a position they held after opening the year with six straight losses, to eighth, winning eight of their past nine games.

There are many reasons for such a dramatic turnaround, but John Longmire's men have clearly improved their attack on the ball.

Even when play has stopped or is yet to start, they've clearly been more combative and aggressive.

The Match Review Panel has either charged or assessed a fired-up Swan's actions following seven of their past nine clashes.

"Every team at this level wants to push the boundaries to a point," Heeney said.

"We just want to go in and be as hard as we can. Whether that's being fiery and not stepping over the line or winning contested footy.

"We're going in hard and we're back to our Swans trademark football.

"We want to go out there and hit every team hard with our contested footy. If we win that, it goes a long way to winning a game."

The Swans' chances of doing that against GWS will improve markedly if Josh Kennedy returns from a tight quad.

Kennedy was a last-minute scratching from the Swans' win over Gold Coast but indicated earlier this week he should be right to face the Giants.

"He's a gun. He leads by example, so does Luke Parker," Heeney said.

"Those two crashing in is a pretty special combo."

Heeney, who made a delayed start to the season because of glandular fever, insisted both he and his side still have plenty of room for improvement.

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