WHERE AND WHEN: Giants Stadium, Saturday August 3, 2.10pm (AEST)
HISTORY: The honours have been shared in the past four encounters between these two clubs.
SUMMARY: Having got their season back on track with courageous wins over Collingwood and Port Adelaide, the Giants must maintain their form against lowly Sydney if they’re to remain in the hunt for a top four finish. Finals are out of the equation for the Swans, but a highly competitive showing against GWS will be of great benefit to a Sydney side that is undergoing a period of transition.
KEY PLAYERS: Jeremy Cameron (Greater Western Sydney)
Cameron has return to his dynamic best after a couple of quiet weeks in the middle of the season, the Coleman medal leader having kicked 12 goals across his past three outings. The athletic goalkicker will fancy his chances of kicking a bag on Saturday given that Sydney will be without their best defender in Dane Rampe through injury. Aliir Aliir has the attributes to go with Cameron in the air and once the football goes to ground, and will most likely be given first crack at the Greater Western Sydney star.
Tom Papley (Sydney)
Sydney’s leading goalkicker was restricted to just one goal from four possessions in the last-start loss to Geelong and will be keen to redeem himself with a strong performance in this one. If Papley cannot find a way to impact the contest, whether it be through his tackle pressure, ability to hit the scoreboard or create scoring opportunities for his teammates, the Swans will struggle to kick a big enough score to come away with the four points.
Lachie Whitfield (Greater Western Sydney)
Whitfield is key to Greater Western Sydney’s standing as one of the highest scoring teams in the League, the smooth-moving 25-year-old ranked in the top 10 for effective disposals and metres gained. Expect George Hewett – who has the tank to go with Whitfield – to line up on the star Giant and try and test out the defensive aspect of his game.
Luke Parker (Sydney)
The Swans have been able to count on Parker to get the job done more often than not in season 2019, with the tough-as-nails Swan averaging 26.2 disposals per match – his best return since 2016. An elite clearance player who is capable of pushing forward and having an impact, Parker shapes as the main man in the Sydney midfield that Greater Western Sydney need to contain. A midfield beast in his own right, the recently re-signed Tim Taranto looms as the likely candidate to go head-to-head with Parker in a mouth-watering match-up.
PREDICTION: Sydney have been competitive in recent times, but with Colin O’Riordan (groin) and Rampe (eye) unavailable, it’s impossible to see the Swans curtailing Jeremy Finlayson, Harry Himmelberg and Cameron who have combined for 122 goals to this point of the year. Giants by 33 points.