Where and when: the Gabba, Saturday, May 4, 4.35pm AEST.
Last time they met: the Gabba, round 10, 2018: Sydney 10.7 (67) d Brisbane 6.13 (49).
In wet and slippery conditions, the Swans got the better of their younger opponents despite losing a number of key statistical categories. Brisbane had more inside 50s, clearances and tackles but Josh Kennedy (34 touches) revelled and the half-back line of Jarrad McVeigh, Zak Jones and Jake Lloyd rebounded the ball with precision, driving Sydney to a third straight victory.
What it means for Brisbane: After six rounds, the Lions are right in the hunt for the top eight and it’s games like these, against the struggling Swans, they’d love to win to show their continual improvement. A win in front of the home fans after the last-start shocker against Collingwood would also go down well.
What it means for Sydney: The Swans have been competitive most weeks but they’d love to bash the door down against a club they’ve traditionally had the wood over. If dreams of September action still flicker, this is a must win.
How Brisbane wins: After rediscovering some form against Gold Coast, the Lions and coach Chris Fagan will be wanting more of the same – back to basics and winning the contested ball. If the Lions get that right, and show some patience when they have the ball, there’s enough weapons to kick a winning score.
How Sydney wins: Essendon and Collingwood supplied the blueprint in recent weeks. Aside from being competitive around the contest, you have to cut off Brisbane’s switch of play from half-back to hopefully frustrate it into errors. Quick counter-attack from the defensive half has also caught the Lions napping in recent weeks.
The match-up: Jarryd Lyons v Josh Kennedy
Although it’s unlikely there’ll be much tagging in this match, this pair are the genuine inside mids for each club and should have a big influence on the result. Lyons got back to his best against former club Gold Coast last weekend, while Kennedy was also in good touch against GWS.
It’s a big week for: Sam Reid
With Lance Franklin ruled out of the clash after failing to overcome a hamstring injury, Reid needs to have an influence. Brisbane has the third most potent attack so far this season, meaning Sydney will likely have to kick a decent score to be competitive. Reid has kicked six goals through six rounds and would love to either kick – or supply – a few on Saturday.
Big call: Brisbane to beat the Swans for the first time in 10 years
Thommo’s Tip: Lions by 10 points.
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