Sun, Jun 12, 5:25am by Head Editor
The tenth Sydney derby doesn't require a fabricated build up like the early ones did, when the clubs came together knowing the older brother Swans would always be too strong. This game is legitimately a blockbuster with both teams looking strong and a certainty for finals football this year. This is a chance for the west of Sydney to prove to the football world that they have a real appetite for the game and fill the stadium. The game is expected to be the first sellout the club's history, which will really please the AFL hierarchy and it's also being called the best fixture for this timeslot so far in 2016.
In the head to head market, there is barely a hair splitting the two NSW clubs. When the market opened, the bookies favoured the young Giants but a significant amount of money has come in for the Swans and Sportsbet now has Sydney at $1.88 favourites with the Giants at $1.96.
Although the Giants have only defeated their older brother once, the kids from the west have come of age this year and are headed for their best finish to a season. Having said that, the likes of Ward and Cognilio will need to be at their brutal best against a midfield that is fast gaining a reputation as the hardest in the league. Another contest in that part of the ground will be just as brutal with one of the in form ruckman of the competition, Kurt Tippet, taking on the man mountain who's also in the elite bracket himself, Shane Mumford. The midfield battle in this one isn't for the faint hearted and will go a long way to telling the result.
The Swans have had an extremely light week on the track after playing on the heaviest deck seen in AFL football for many a year last Saturday. They took care of a Gold Coast side on a ground that had upwards of 200 millimetres of rain dumped on it in the 24 hours leading up to and during the match. As always in this fixture, we'll see a battle within a battle with the best forward in the competition being marked by one of the best defenders. Franklin v Davis promises to be a fascinating contest.
GWS have lost their grip on a top 4 spot after dropping their last two games, although they were two of the toughest road trips in football, Adelaide and Geelong. On the other hand the Swans are flying, they sit second on the ladder and in another key indicator, their percentage is the strongest in the competition, at 146.5. I'm backing the big brother Swans to win in a bruising affair.
Result: Sydney by 20 points
BEST BET: Sydney to win by 1 to 39 points, which pays $2.50
BEST OUTSIDER: GWS to lead at half time but lose, the younger, smaller bodies of the Giants may tire as the game progresses. $8
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