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Match preview: Sydney v Hawthorn

Pick a Winner: Syd v Haw Duck and Browny preview the Swans v Hawks
Ben Ronke booted seven goals against Hawthorn earlier this year - AFL,Sydney Swans,Hawthorn Hawks
Ben Ronke booted seven goals against Hawthorn earlier this year

Two great modern-day rivals are set to face off at the SCG on Saturday night, and with for fourth spot and a vital double chance during the finals on offer, the winner of this one will set itself up for a huge September. Superstar Swan Lance Franklin will be the major focus for his former club, and despite the concerns over his heel problem and lack of training, he's booted 15 goals from his past four matches. Both teams are stacked with experience and the likes of Shaun Burgoyne, Jarrad McVeigh, Ben McEvoy, Josh Kennedy, Isaac Smith and Kieren Jack will be crucial in such an important contest. Sydney youngster Ben Ronke stunned the Hawks with seven goals from nine kicks earlier in the season, and with Will Hayward, Tom Papley and Tom McCartin, he'll need to chip in again to help Franklin inside 50 for the home side. The finals have come early and the team that takes their opportunities in the big moments will be rewarded greatly when the regular season is over. 

WHERE AND WHEN: SCG, Saturday, August 25, 7.25pm
TV AND RADIO: Click here for the broadcast guide 

R8, 2018, Sydney 12.7 (79) d Hawthorn 10.11 (71) at the MCG
R19, 2017, Hawthorn 10.12 (72) d Sydney 9.12 (66) at the MCG
R10, 2017, Hawthorn 12.9 (81) d Sydney 11.9 (75) at the SCG
R17, 2016, Hawthorn 11.9 (75) d Sydney 10.10 (70) at the SCG
R9, 2016, Sydney 10.9 (69) d Hawthorn 7.13 (55) at the MCG 

1. It was Ben Ronke's night against the Hawks in round eight at the MCG when he kicked seven of the Swans' 12 goals. Luke Parker also starred with 28 disposals and two goals.

2. Sydney is ranked 17th for centre clearances with an average of 11.7 per game this season; in contrast Hawthorn is equal sixth, averaging 12.2.

3. Not much has separated the sides recently; five of the last seven games have been decided by less than 10 points; the last four by an average margin of six points.

4. A big advantage for the Hawks could be taking the ball inside 50, they're ranked third averaging 55.2 per game; a long way ahead of the Swans, who are 15th with 50.4 per game.

5. The teams have played 26 times at the SCG with 14 wins to 12 in the Hawks' favour, including the last four. The Swans are five wins and five losses at the SCG this season.

6. Hawthorn star Luke Bruest is the highest ranked small/medium forward in the Schick AFL Player Ratings (42nd) and sits fifth in the Coleman Medal race with 52 goals for the season. 

Sydney tagger George Hewett did the job on GWS star Stephen Coniglio after half-time in last week's derby win, and he's likely to run with former Swan and Brownlow medal favourite Tom Mitchell on Saturday night.

PREDICTION: Sydney by five points