The Swans have some key players missing with co-captain Jarrad McVeigh, Sam Reid, Ben McGlynn and Gary Rohan all looking at delayed starts to the season, so Collingwood will head to Sydney confident of a successful start to the year. Travis Cloke was quiet in the NAB Challenge but could be the key for the Pies, with the home side reliant on Heath Grundy to keep him under wraps. Quality supply for Lance Franklin will be critical if he's to help the Swans kick a big enough score to win.
WHERE AND WHEN: SCG, Saturday 7.25pm AEDT
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide
PAST FIVE TIMES
R20, 2015, Sydney Swans 13.9 (87) d Collingwood 10.16 (76) at the SCG
R2, 2014, Collingwood 12.17 (89) d Sydney Swans 10.9 (69) at ANZ Stadium
R20, 2013, Collingwood 14.16 (100) d Sydney Swans 10.11 (71) at ANZ Stadium
R9, 2013, Sydney Swans 15.12 (102) d Collingwood 8.7 (55) at the MCG
2PF, 2012, Sydney Swans 13.18 (96) d Collingwood 10.10 (70) at ANZ Stadium
THE SIX POINTS
1. Tom Mitchell and Josh Kennedy dominated when the Swans defeated Collingwood in 2015; Mitchell had 41 disposals and earned three Brownlow votes, while Kennedy had 35 touches and won two votes.
2. Swans midfielders Kennedy and Dan Hannebery were ranked third and fourth for total disposals in the competition last year; Scott Pendlebury was the Magpies best, ranked eighth.
3. Not much separates the teams in recent seasons, with the Swans and Magpies winning three games each since 2012; but Collingwood won the previous 11 in a row.
4. The Swans have the advantage at the SCG, winning 13 of their past 16 games; Collingwood has played at the venue just once since 2001 and hasn’t won since early 2000.
5. In 2015 Swans forwards Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett kicked 91 goals between them, while Collingwood's top two goalkickers, Travis Cloke and Jamie Elliott, combined for 69 goals.
6. Collingwood captain Pendlebury finished the 2015 season at No.2 on the Schick AFL Player Ratings behind Fremantle's Nat Fyfe, with Kennedy the Swans' best at number nine.
IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR…
Lance Franklin. The game's biggest star returns for his first game since he announced his battle with mental health issues on the eve of last year's finals. After a fantastic pre-season the three-time Coleman medallist looks poised to re-establish his standing as the best forward in the competition.
PREDICTION: Sydney Swans by seven points.