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Match preview: Sydney v Hawthorn

Pick a Winner: Syd v Haw Duck and Browny preview the Swans v Hawks

SUMMARY
Any clash between these two powerhouse teams brings plenty of eyes and expectation, but this time it's for a very different reason, with the winner likely to keep their finals hopes alive. The Swans were written off when they started the year 0-6, and the Hawks weren't much better at 1-5, but with a few sides above them faltering, and some key players returning to form and fitness, things are looking slightly more positive for John Longmire's team. The injury bug has hit Hawthorn more recently and they gave up a big lead to go down to Collingwood last week, but with a good record in Sydney, the visitors will come with hope of an upset. Finding enough goals to win it though, while trying to tame superstar Swan Lance Franklin, could be a hurdle too large for the Hawks to get over. 

WHERE AND WHEN: SCG, Friday, May 26, 7.50pm AEST - FOLLOW IT LIVE

TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R17, 2016, Hawthorn 11.9 (75) d Swans 10.10 (70) at the SCG
R9, 2016, Swans 10.9 (69) d Hawthorn 7.13 (55) at the MCG
R16, 2015, Hawthorn 23.8 (146) d Swans 7.15 (57) at ANZ Stadium
R8, 2015, Swans 11.7 (73) d Hawthorn 9.15 (69) at the MCG
GF, 2014, Hawthorn 21.11 (137) d Swans 11.8 (74) at the MCG 

THE SIX POINTS
1. Sydney had more disposals and more inside 50s when these teams last played but the Hawks still won. Despite trailing narrowly at three-quarter time, Cyril Rioli kicked the winning goal with only seconds remaining.

2. In the last three weeks the Swans have gone from 0-6 and 18th on the ladder, to 3-6 and 12th. Their percentage has risen from 76 per cent to 100 per cent, and their average score has improved from 75 points per game in the first six matches to 124 from the past three matches.

3. Hawthorn has had the better of Sydney recently winning seven of the last 10 matches, including the 2014 Grand Final. Six of the last 10 fixtures have been decided by less than 20 points.

4. If the Hawks lose they will be 3-7; the last time they were 3-7 after 10 games was back in 2005. The Swans are looking for four straight victories for the first time since they won the last four games of the 2016 home and away season.

5. Hawthorn has won the last three clashes between the sides at the SCG; the Swans last won late in 2010; Sydney is three losses from four SCG games so far in 2017.

6. Sydney's best three midfielders Josh Kennedy (fourth), Luke Parker (15th) and Dan Hannebery (17th) are all ranked inside the top 20 of the Schick AFL Player Rantings, but it's a different story at the Hawks with former Swan Tom Mitchell (64th) their only onballer inside the top 100. 

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR…
Tom Mitchell. He's coming off a 50-possession game against Collingwood but Mitchell might need to rack up even more ball against his old side if the Hawks are to have any chance. With the Swans' big names all back in form, the stats machine needs his teammates to step up and provide some assistance.