LANCE Franklin has a tall task to bring up his 1000th goal against Geelong at the SCG on Friday night, but history shows he has more than a fighting chance.
Franklin requires four goals against the Cats after being kept to a solitary major by Greater Western Sydney full-back Phil Davies at the weekend.
The 35-year-old has had an indifferent record against Geelong over his 18-season career.
His 24 games against the Cats are the most he's has played against any rival.
But his 58 goals have come at an average of just 2.42 a game. Only his former club Hawthorn (2.36 a game) have done a better job at containing Franklin, although over a much smaller sample of games.
Franklin has a personal best of five goals against Geelong, a feat he achieved twice way back in 2009 when he still wore the brown and gold.
Perhaps it is more pertinent to look at the venue and his direct opponents though, rather than what's happened as far back as half a lifetime ago.
Franklin loves the SCG, kicking 224 goals from 65 games, at a clip of almost 3.5 a game.
He's played Geelong twice at the Swans' home ground, in 2014 and 2018, kicking four goals on each occasion.
A similar output in round two would create history.
BUDDY'S BIGGEST BAGS Enjoy the best of Franklin
Over his long rivalry with the Cats, Champion Data statistics show it was usually a match-up for Tom Lonergan, who spent more than 1200 minutes on the superstar full-forward in 12 games, or Harry Taylor.
|Buddy's Cat minder||Matches||Total mins||Goals against||Goals per 100 mins|
But of Friday night's possible match-ups, Mark Blicavs would appear the man.
Blicavs has stood alongside Franklin twice in his career, conceding three goals as his direct opponent in 2018 and just one in 2019.
They're all just numbers though, and Franklin has an entertainer's flair capable of anything, but will it come against one of his most frugal rivals?
|Blicavs v Franklin||Mins||Marks||Disposals||Goals|
|Rd. 16, 2018||104||5||8||3|
|Rd. 11, 2019||98||3||10||1|