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Harbouring ambition

The last time these two teams met at Adelaide Oval, the Crows secured a thrilling 10-point win. Apart from that Round Four game in 2016, it’s been all Sydney. The consistent and competitive Swans have won five of their last six clashes with Adelaide including three on South Australian soil.

Sydney dominated the most recent meeting at the SCG in last year’s Semi-Final. The Swans prevailed by 36 points, which was (remarkably) below the average winning margin (51 points) in their last five victories over Adelaide.

Not many clubs boast positive recent records against the Swans, who have been Grand Finalists in two of the last three years. Only one team (Hawthorn – twice) has beaten them since Round Six this season. But the Crows have been able to break down a number of barriers on their way to the top of the premiership table, and will have the belief they can match it with the red-hot Swans.

Change in time

There are a total of 12 changes across the two teams since their last meeting some 335 days ago. Crows Jake Kelly, Hugh Greenwood and Alex Keath, who have never played the Swans, come into the team along with Riley Knight. Out of Adelaide’s Semi-Final side are midfielders Scott Thompson and Jarryd Lyons, and defensive duo Kyle Hartigan and Kyle Cheney.

More than a third of the Swans team is different. Sam Reid, Kurt Tippett, Callum Mills and Zak Jones were all missing from Sydney’s second final last year. Callum Sinclair, Will Hayward and Lewis Melican will play their first games against Adelaide as Swans, while traded pair Tom Mitchell and Toby Nankervis are among the absentees.

Taylor-ed approach

Captain Taylor Walker will become the 24th player to reach the 150-game milestone with Adelaide. The fan favourite has overcome adversity to be one of the most prolific forwards in the Club’s history. He’s second only to childhood idol Tony Modra (440) for goals with 351 and needs two more goal assists to break the Club record for goal assists in a season (30). He leads the League for score assists (40) and is fifth in the Coleman Medal race with 48 goals. 

The Crows will be hoping to honour their skipper with a better performance than in his 100th game, which was also against the Swans – a forgettable 52-point loss at the SCG in Round 18, 2015.

Crowd pleaser

For the third time in a month, Crows fans have sold out Adelaide Oval. Despite some severely weather-affected games, Adelaide ranks fourth and No.1 of non-Victorian clubs for average attendance at home this season (46,169).

The Crows only need a crowd of 38,315 on Friday night to crack half-a-million fans at Adelaide Oval this season. It’s only fitting the Club, which also has a record membership of 76,364 in 2017, should achieve this milestone in RAA Member Appreciation Round.

Rain, hail or shine - Crows members and supporters turn up

A Buddy big task

After a somewhat inaccurate season in front of the big sticks, Swans superstar Lance Franklin hit top form in his team’s demolition of Fremantle at the SCG last weekend. Franklin kicked four goals from a season-high 24 disposals and also generated 10 inside 50ms.

The three-time Coleman Medallist has kicked 15 goals in his last four games against Adelaide, including four to set the tone in last year’s Semi-Final. On that night, his regular opponent Daniel Talia had to play out the game with a groin complaint after teammate Jake Lever injured his ankle in the second quarter. 

Dual All Australian full-back Talia is likely to get the job on Franklin again on Friday night, and will be relying on the Crows midfielders to limit Sydney’s supply to the proven match winner.