WHERE AND WHEN: SCG, Sunday, June 22, 1.10pm
LAST TIME: St Kilda 16.15 (111) d Sydney Swans 12.11 (83), round nine, 2012 at Etihad Stadium
The last time these two played, the Swans were completely surprised by a determined Saints side which completely controlled proceedings right from the outset. They lost by 28 points, but the level of St Kilda’s dominance meant the margin could have been a lot bigger.
Now, the Swans find themselves on top of the ladder whilst the Saints are clinging to eighth position thanks to their superior percentage. A loss here could spell potential disaster for both teams, as the Swans are only a game clear from fifth – and losing the double chance.
The Swans and Saints generally play tight contested footy, with a focus on winning the clearances around the ground. Jude Bolton, Josh Kennedy and Jarrad McVeigh excel in this area, but they were beaten convincingly by Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo and Jack Steven in the previous meeting and it will obviously be an area they will have spoken about during the week.
The advantage of the SCG cannot be understated either. The Swans play the ground incredibly well, and it becomes a highly daunting task for any opponent. St Kilda has had recent success at the venue, but whether it will translate under new coach Scott Watters’ gameplan remains to be seen.
Importantly, the Saints will bring back two of their stars from suspensions. One was club imposed, the other through the Match Review Panel, but you can expect Steven and Brendon Goddard to be highly influential. Goddard is one the Swans will have to stop – you must not allow him to roam unopposed off the half back flank.
On paper and based off recent form, it seems like a regulation victory for the Swans as they fight it out for top spot. However, the result in round nine proves that the Saints are capable, but it is likely that the Swans at their beloved SCG will be too much for them to handle.
Swans by 28
B: Rhyce Shaw, Heath Grundy, Alex Johnson
HB: Nicholas Smith, Ted Richards, Martin Mattner
C: Daniel Hannebery, Jude Bolton, Lewis Jetta
HF: Craig Bird, Sam Reid, Ben McGlynn
F: Jarrad McVeigh, Adam Goodes, Ryan O’Keefe
Foll: Shane Mumford, Josh P. Kennedy, Kieren Jack
I/C: Nick Malceski, Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Mike Pyke, Andrejs Everitt
Emg: Trent Dennis-Lane, Tony Armstrong, Tommy Walsh
B: Jarryn Geary, Tom Simpkin, James Gwilt
HB: Sean Dempster, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Nick Dal Santo, David Armitage, Brendon Goddard
HF: Ahmed Saad, Nick Riewoldt, Jason Gram
F: Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke, Jack Steven
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Montagna
I/C: Clinton Jones, Adam Schneider, Arryn Siposs, Sam Dunell
Emg: Farren Ray, Terry Milera, Beau Wilkes
In: Brendon Goddard, Jack Steven
Out: Farren Ray, Beau Wilkes