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Match preview: Sydney v St Kilda

Adam Curley  July 17, 2017 4:41 PM

Pick a Winner: Syd v StK Duck and Browny preview the Swans v Saints
AFL 2017 Round 17 - St Kilda v Essendon

The Saints need a big performance from midfielder Jack Steven

SUMMARY
St Kilda looked like world-beaters when it smashed Richmond in round 16 but failed a huge test when Essendon smacked the Saints under the lights of Friday night footy. Now they face the rampant Swans at the SCG, a team they haven’t beaten in over five years. Sydney stars Lance Franklin, Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker, Isaac Heeney and Dane Rampe are all in outstanding form, and veterans Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh have also found some touch after early season injury worries, so it's no surprise that John Longmire's team has won nine of its past 10 matches. If the Saints have any hopes of leaving the harbour city with a vital four points they'll need to use their speed to run the home side ragged, and do it both ways, to help defenders Dylan Roberton and Jake Carlisle curb the influence of Franklin. 

WHERE AND WHEN: SCG, Saturday, July 22, 7.25pm AEST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R9, 2017, Sydney 18.10 (118) d St Kilda 10.8 (68) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2016, Sydney 23.8 (146) d St Kilda 11.10 (76) at Etihad Stadium
R22, 2015, Sydney 20.15 (135) d St Kilda 4.14 (38) at Etihad Stadium
R21, 2014, Sydney 19.13 (127) d St Kilda 8.8 (56) at the SCG
R21, 2013, Sydney 18.10 (118) d St Kilda 8.11 (59) at the SCG 

THE SIX POINTS

1. The Swans midfield was the difference in round nine with Josh Kennedy having 38 disposals and eight clearances, ahead of 30 touches to Dan Hannebery and 28 to Luke Parker. Lance Franklin booted four goals.

2. Sydney has won nine of its past 10 games, three wins better than the next best team, and in that time it has conceded just 69 points per game.

3. The Swans have dominated St Kilda winning the past seven contests, including the last five by an average margin of 69 points. The Saints' last win occurred in round nine, 2012.

4. Sydney has won the last three clashes between the sides at the SCG; St Kilda last won there in round 18, 2009. The Swans have won four of their last five games at the SCG in 2017.

5. Both teams have struggled in front of goal this season, the Swans are ranked 13th for accuracy at 47.3 per cent, and the Saints are worse at 44.7 per cent.

6. Sydney midfielder Zak Jones has continued his surge in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. After beginning the season ranked 318th in the League, he's now 197th.

IT’S A BIG WEEK FOR … Jack Steven
The gun midfielder has the pace to hurt the home side and if he can run and carry the footy on the smaller SCG, he'll be a handful. A big game from Steven where he hits the scoreboard is vital for the Saints. 

PREDICTION: Sydney by 21 points