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Adam Curley, with AAP and staff writers  August 14, 2017 3:40 PM

Josh Kennedy could return after injuring his hamstring during Sydney's Round 19 clash with Hawthorn

Josh Kennedy could return after injuring his hamstring during Sydney's Round 19 clash with Hawthorn

Sydney skipper Josh Kennedy is shaping up well in his bid to return from a hamstring injury for Friday night's blockbuster against Adelaide. 

Kennedy missed the Swans’ recent wins over Geelong and Fremantle after injuring his hamstring in the loss to Hawthorn.  

“Josh trained today and trained well. We expect him to train on Wednesday and obviously if he gets through that he'll be playing, which is good news," Swans coach John Longmire said on Monday.

There is more good news for the Swans with young midfielder Nic Newman being cleared of any serious damage to his knee.

Newman hyperextended his right knee in an accidental collision with teammate Kurt Tippett midway through the third quarter of Saturday's 104-point win over Fremantle. He played no further part in the game.

The massive clash between Adelaide and Sydney will see the competition's number one offence pitted against the AFL's stingiest defence, but Longmire knows it's the middle of the ground his team must control.  

As always it will be the midfield battle that will determine the Swans' chances of taming Crows' star-studded forward line, with Don Pyke's side booting 304 points more than the next best side in Geelong this year.  

Taylor Walker (48 goals this season), Eddie Betts (45) and Josh Jenkins (38) are all capable of kicking bags of goals for the home side, but Tom Lynch, Mitch McGovern and Charlie Cameron have also booted 20-plus majors, giving Adelaide multiple options to score.  

After missing key personnel like Dane Rampe and Jarrad McVeigh early in the season, Sydney's defence is now settled, experienced, and in form.

But Longmire said his backline matters little if his onballers can't win more important footy than their opponents.  

"Our defence has been consistent and they'll get a huge test this week, but it won't just be up to our back six, it will be up to our full team defence to give them a hand," he said.  

"They're an extremely talented front half there's no question about that, and if the Crouch boys and (Rory) Sloane get going in the midfield, they'll give them enormous supply.  

"When you give that talented forward group enough supply it can make things difficult for any back six and that's why it's so important to put pressure on up the ground.”