SYDNEY will relish the underdog tag as it enters an AFL season in which expectations are remarkably low, as reflected by the fact that not one rival captain believes it will reach the finals.

The Swans finished 16th in 2020, during which co-captain Josh Kennedy and gun forward Lance Franklin were among a stack of injured stars.

Kennedy's 17 counterparts were asked on Wednesday to name which seven other clubs they predict will finish in the top eight.

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The Swans, Adelaide and North Melbourne were the only teams that failed to poll a single vote.

"I think so (Sydney will relish the underdog tag)," Kennedy told AAP.

"It's almost part of our history now. When you look back over the course of the last 20 years.

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"Someone asked me if it stung earlier today. It doesn't necessarily sting.

"But do I want to prove them wrong? Absolutely. I look forward to that challenge."

The Swans, renowned as perennial finalists for much of Kennedy's career, haven't finished in the top eight since 2018.

Swans coach John Longmire has confirmed Franklin, who suffered a minor calf injury during pre-season training, will miss round one.

But Kennedy says the four-time Coleman medallist is "knocking down the door" and approaching full fitness.

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"If it were up to him, he'd be playing round one," he said on Wednesday.

"He's done so much work since the season finished last year ... he wants to get back out there. He loves playing, loves competing."

Key forward Logan McDonald is in line to make his AFL debut in the absence of Franklin on March 20, when the Swans start their season against Brisbane at the Gabba.

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Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden, who like McDonald were drafted after the 2020 season, also put their hands up to debut by impressing in Sydney's recent pre-season clash with GWS.

"They look like they wouldn't look out of place come round one," Kennedy said.

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"It is pretty incredible. I think back to when I started and how raw I was.

"You still get that. But certainly now you get a lot more kids who come in and their bodies are somewhat hardened, some have been in semi-professional programs."