The double blow

Has the last fortnight been just a simple reality check, or is it a genuine concern?

The Swans will be hoping it’s the former but there are observers in the football world who strongly believe last year’s grand finalists are on downward slop.

In Round 16, the Swans matched Hawthorn in almost every statistic but butchered the ball in the forward half and paid for it handsomely.

In Round 17, the late withdrawal of Lance Franklin didn’t help but the Swans were victims of their own poor ball use and were found out by a genuine premiership contender in West Coast.

The return of Ted Richards and the likely return of Franklin should straighten the Swans up while if the events of the past few days surrounding Adam Goodes doesn’t galvanize the group then nothing will.

The Swans don’t stay down for long having lost consecutive games on only six occasions in the past four years.

Adam Goodes

There’s no hiding Adam Goodes has had a rough time dealing with the fall out from Domain Stadium.

So much so the dual Brownlow Medallist has taken leave to help clear the head meaning the Swans will be without the 35-year-old for Saturday’s encounter with Adelaide.

It is a plight on the game that we’re revisiting a third time which has disappointed not only the Club, but also the AFL and a majority of the game’s supporters.

Let’s hope we see arguably the AFL’s best Indigenous footballer back out there soon, for the sake of Goodes’ wellbeing and the betterment of the game.

A home away from home?

The Swans have bucked a recent trend of losses against Adelaide, having won the past three encounters and four of the past six.

But overall, Adelaide has been the dominant team winning 22 of 35 matches played.

What is most interesting is the Crows have made themselves at home at the SCG having taken the points in 11 of 16 visits, including the last four visits and six of the previous seven.

Galvanized after Phil Walsh’s passing and having all but ended cross-town rivals Port Adelaide’s finals aspirations, the Crows are another huge hurdle in the Swans’ search for a top four spot.

Nick Smith v Eddie Betts

The two smalls just might prove to be the biggest match up of the afternoon with Nick Smith usually going to the most dangerous small forward on the ground and Eddie Betts fits the bill.

Betts has booted 41 goals in season 2015, including hauls of four or more goals on five occasions so the goal sneak can take a game away from an opposition side.

And Betts can kick them from anywhere having been nominated for Goal of the Year in numerous games over his 11 seasons with Carlton and Adelaide.

With the Swans’ back six conceding more than 90 points per game over the past six weeks, a drastic turnaround in form will be needed to stem the competition’s fifth highest scoring team in Adelaide.