Ryan O'Keefe with his Norm Smith and premiership medals after last season's Grand Final
THE SYDNEY Swans are taking no added confidence from the absence of Hawthorn matchwinners Lance Franklin and possibly Cyril Rioli for Friday night's qualifying final.
The top-placed Hawks beat the Swans by 12 points in their last home-and-away game at ANZ Stadium last Friday night.
But things could be tipping the Swans' way at selection for their MCG rematch, with the Swans expecting to regain Kurt Tippett, Dan Hannebery and Nick Smith.
The Hawks should get back Brent Guerra, but will wait until Friday to decide whether Rioli, who missed last week's clash with an ankle injury, can join him, after he failed to train with teammates on Thursday.
Franklin will miss the game through suspension.
But Swan Ryan O'Keefe, who won the Norm Smith Medal when the Swans upset the Hawks in last year's Grand Final, said regardless of which players took the field for Hawthorn they would be tough opposition.
"Both teams don't really rely on one or two players," O'Keefe told reporters on arrival in Melbourne on Thursday.
"It's a collective and you use the full depth of the squad.
"I don't think it favours anyone really, it's going to be a pretty tough battle.
"We know whatever team Hawthorn put on the field it's going to be tough."
O'Keefe said last year's premiership win meant nothing in terms of Friday night's clash.
He said last weekend was a good dress rehearsal but he expected the intensity to go up a notch with a fortnight's rest and a home preliminary final on the line.
But O'Keefe said the loser would still be firmly in the premiership hunt.
"You do get another chance; that's the benefit of working hard and performing through the year to get that top-four spot," he said.