Sat, Jun 18, 1:26pm by Jake Equid
Melbourne takes the field at lunch time on Sunday looking for their first win in over a decade at one of Australia's oldest sporting venues. The Swans had their wings clipped last week and will have the young Dees in their sights in what should be a brutal contest in the centre of the ground between two sides who are ranked right at the pointy end when it comes to contested possession.
All the money has been with Sydney to bounce back after their loss to cross-town rival GWS last week, which has seen the Swans come right into $1.25 at Sportsbet, with the Dees friendless at $4.00.
Swans ruckman Kurt Tippett has been ruled out for six to eight weeks with a severe hamstring injury, which could open the door for one of the in-form big men in the game Dees ruckman Max Gawn, who has been on fire in recent weeks. I'm not sure the loss of Tippett will have that much of an impact though as the Swans have lost the clearance count in every one of their last five outings.
The Dees are certainly on the improve and if they can keep their foot down are headed for their highest finish to a season since 2006. The battle in the engine room will be fascinating here with two of the top four contested possession teams in the competition. How Viney, Jones and Tyson of Melbourne can stack up against Parker, Hannebery and Kennedy of the Swans will go a long way to telling which side comes out on top. My money is on the Swans midfield who were all below par last week when they were smacked in the west, surely their quality will shine through and they'll be up for this one.
The visitors will certainly be up against it considering the vast majority of their list have never played at the SCG as the last fixture between these two at this venue was way back in Round 8 of 2012. A game they won't want to mention in the build-up, they were belted by 101 points. Not helping matters is the fact that it is such a unique ground, the smallest in the AFL and with the home side only dropping six of their past 37 matches here the outcome looks bleak.
I'm backing the Swans to win and win comfortably; the line is at +24.5 and also worth a nibble.
BEST BET: Sydney to win, which pays $1.25
BEST OUTSIDER: Sydney to cover the line (+24.5), which pays $1.92
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