Where and when: Marvel Stadium, Saturday April 20, 7.25pm AEST
Last time they met: Marvel Stadium, round 15, 2018: Richmond 14.9 (93) defeated Sydney 11.1 (67)
Richmond held Sydney at bay for most of the match until a flurry of Swans goals cut the margin to just four points at the first minute of the last term. It was the last time Sydney would score.
What it means for Richmond: After an undermanned team caused an upset win on the road over Port Adelaide, another four points would boost confidence in the young cubs even further at Punt Road.
What it means for Sydney: At one and three, the ledger could get ugly for the Swans if they don’t start getting wins on the board, especially ahead of a battle with crosstown rivals Greater Western Sydney.
How Richmond wins: The Tigers were back to their hassling best last week, and have the speed across the ground to beat the Swans, particularly in the midfield and across half-forward.
How Sydney wins: The blueprint has been set for how to defeat Richmond. Retain possession across half-back using kicks, denying the small forwards the opportunity to pounce on a loose ball.
The stat: Richmond is averaging 339.3 disposals a match after four weeks, the fewest of any club. While in recent years, the Tigers haven’t been the biggest ball-winners, (averaging 366.8 in 2018 and 364.7 in 2017), the downward turn is an issue.
The match-up: Lance Franklin v Dylan Grimes
Franklin v Alex Rance has been an enthralling battle over the years, but with Rance injured and David Astbury not quick enough, the shorter but agile Grimes (196th overall) will have to stand up.
It’s a big week for: Aliir Aliir
After taking on one of the biggest men in the game in Braydon Preuss, Aliir will be faced with another big task, lining up on the in-form Tom Lynch. After a pre-season on the sidelines, Lynch is just starting to hit his straps in his new colours, coming off a six-goal haul.
Big call: It’s been a relatively quiet few weeks for the lookalike pair, but Richmond’s Jack Higgins and Sydney’s Ben Ronke will kick three goals each under the roof.
Thommo’s Tip: Richmond by 20 points.
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