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AFL Preview: Crows v Swans

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  August 14, 2017 2:55 PM

Adelaide will be looking for retribution against the Swans on Friday night

Adelaide will be looking for retribution against the Swans on Friday night

The two form sides of the competition square off in what could be a Grand Final preview. After a mid-season malaise, the Crows have rebounded strongly, winning six of their past seven games – and drawn the other with a kick after the siren – to move six points clear at the top of the table. While they have locked in a top-two berth, the Crows would love nothing more to knock off the Swans and gain a small slice of retribution for last year's semi-final loss. Six straight losses to start the season left the Swans languishing at the foot of the ladder, but last year's Grand Finalists have dramatically turned things around with 12 wins from their past 14 games to keep their top-four hopes alive. You couldn't ask for a better start to the penultimate round of the competition.

WHERE AND WHENAdelaide Oval, Friday, August 18, 7.20pm ACST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for the AFL's broadcast guide

1SF, 2016, Sydney Swans 18.10 (118) d Adelaide Crows 12.10 (72) at the SCG
R4, 2016, Adelaide Crows 16.17 (113) d Sydney Swans 15.13 (103) at Adelaide Oval
R18, 2015, Sydney Swans 17.15 (117) d Adelaide Crows 9.11 (65) at the SCG
R3, 2014, Sydney Swans 21.8 (134) d Adelaide Crows 9.17 (71) at Adelaide Oval
R11, 2013, Sydney Swans 19.13 (127) d Adelaide Crows 6.14 (50) at AAMI Stadium 

1. The Swans tore the Crows apart with a devastating first half in last year's semi-final at the SCG. The Swans kicked seven goals to three in the opening quarter and led by 37 points at the main break. Josh Kennedy had a massive game, finishing with 42 disposals, four inside 50s and 10 clearances.

2. The Crows remain the highest-scoring side this season, averaging 113 points per game. They are also ranked number one for inside 50ms, marks inside 50, quarters won, contested possessions and clearances.

3. The Swans have the wood on the Crows in recent times, winning five of their past six encounters. However, the Crows still hold a 23-15 win/loss advantage in their 38 overall meetings.

4. It will be only the third time the two clubs have met at Adelaide Oval, with the ledger equal at 1-1. But travelling doesn't bother the in-form Swans, who have won five of their past six interstate games this season.

5. After losing their first six games of the season, the Swans have turned on the afterburners to get their campaign back on track. They are the best team in the competition since round seven, with 12 wins from 14 games and a percentage of 153.96 per cent. The Crows are ranked second, with nine wins in that period.

6. Crows midfielder Matt Crouch has moved to a career-high ranking in the Schick AFL Player Ratings. Crouch is 40thoverall, having improved 94 places since the start of the season.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FORDaniel Talia 
The Crows key defender will get first crack at controlling Sydney spearhead Lance Franklin. Talia was injured in the second quarter of last year's semi-final, with Franklin running riot and booting four goals to lead the Swans to victory. 

AFL MEDIA PREDICTION: Adelaide by 10 points.