Australian Football League (AFL) Preliminary Finals Live Sydney Swans vs North Melbourne Kangaroos AFL Preliminary Finals match will be kick off at ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Friday 19 September 2014 online, 19:50 AEDT and its broadcast on Fox Footy.
Well it comes down to this, win and make the grand final whilst the loser contemplates what might have been. The Swans have the luxury of a week off whilst the underdog Kangas are riding a five game winning streak.
Should All-Australian half-back Nick Malceski prove he has overcome a hamstring complaint, then the Swans will not make any changes to the 22 that defeated Fremantle two weeks ago. However, if Malceski is ruled out expect Tom Mitchell, Jeremy Laidler and Dean Towers to push for a game. For North Melbourne, they will be delighted Brent Harvey escaped suspension but doubt looms over Jamie Macmillan’s fitness as he was substituted out with a hamstring problem last week. Brad Scott has also raised the possibility of including Joel Tippett to take on his older brother Kurt. Tough midfielder Leigh Adams could be ready to return from concussion.
The Swans rank third in points for and first for least points conceded per game this year. Sydney is 8-4 (6-6 against the line) vs top-8 teams this year. They are 4-1 both head-to-head and against the line vs top-four sides this year and finished on top of the table. North held off a fast finishing Geelong to win their sixth straight game. They are 6-4 head to head and against the line vs top-eight teams this year whilst as Brad Scott proudly declared are the only remaining team to have defeated the others this year
North upset the Swans on a soaking wet Sunday afternoon in round 4. After a tight first half, the Kangaroos powered away in the slippery conditions kicking nine goals to six after the main break to record a 43-point victory. Daniel Wells excelled in the conditions with 24 touches and three goals whilst inside midfielders Ben Cunnington (30 touches, ten tackles), Leigh Adams (29 touches, seven tackles) and Nick Dal Santo also excelled. For the Swans, All Australian defender Nick Smith kept Lindsay Thomas to just six touches and a goal whilst Josh Kennedy had 33 touches.
This will be the 155th meeting between the two sides with Sydney leading 81-72 with one draw. This will be only their second finals meeting with North beating the Swans in the 1996 Grand Final whilst Sydney beat the Roos in the 2008 elimination final. That final was their only ever meeting at ANZ Stadium, with Sydney winning by 35-points. The Swans are 29-20 all-time at ANZ Stadium. Since the start of 2013, they are 4-4 (3-5 against the line) at the venue. Sydney has won their last seven finals at ANZ Stadium, having only lost once in September there – back in 2003 to Brisbane. Since 2010, the Swans are 7-4 (6-5 against the line) in finals. The Swans are 3-4 (2-5 against the line) following a week off since the start of 2011. Whilst North is 3-3 both head to head and against the line in the same situation. The Swans have won seven of their last eight matches against the Kangaroos, dating back to 2008. North is 2-2 in finals since 2007. The last nine Swans games at ANZ (dating back to 2013) have averaged 169.5 total points whilst the last eight Sydney-North games have averaged 170 points, since 2008. North Melbourne is 7-7 both head-to-head and against the line outside of Victoria since the start of 2013. The Roos have beaten West Coast, Fremantle and Sydney all away this year. The Roos have averaged 109 points per game over their six game winning streak. The Swans average 109 points per game in the eight games that their big four forwards (Reid, Goodes, Tippett and Franklin) have played together.
B: Smith, Richards, Shaw
HB: Malceski, Grundy, Rampe
C: Hannebery, Kennedy, Jetta
HF: McVeigh, Franklin, Cunningham
F: Goodes, Tippett, McGlynn
R: Pyke, Parker, K. Jack
I: Bird, Lloyd, Reid, Rohan
E: Laidler, Mitchell, Towers
IN: No change
B: Wright, Thompson, Firrito
HB: Dal Santo, Grima, Gibson
C: Wells, Swallow, Atley
HF: Greenwood, Brown, Harvey
F: Thomas, Petrie, Black
R: Goldstein, Cunnington, Ziebell
I: Bastinac, Jacobs, McDonald, Turner
E: Currie, Tippett, Mullett
In: B Jacobs
Out: J Macmillan (hamstring)