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Opposition Watch: Round 17

GIANTS Media  July 12, 2017 11:26 AM

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Phil Davis and Lance Franklin to go head-to-head again as Buddy and Jeremy Cameron battle for the Coleman Medal.

It's going to be a fiery game and it's going to be on. They are our rivals.

All the news from across town ahead of Sydney Derby XIII with young Swan Isaac Heeney predicting fireworks as he declares, “it’s on”.

Heeney came out all guns blazing in an article with AAP, saying the Swans are ready for one of the most important Derby clashes in recent history.

"There's going to be some seriously contested footy. We're excited and we're ready for it," Heeney told Rob Forsaith.

"It's going to be a fiery game and it's going to be on.

"They are our rivals.

"They're a quality side. It's going to be hard to stop them but we've performed well during the last month or so. We'll go out there and be confident we can get the win.”

After losing their first six games of the season, the Swans have returned to their trademark football - with plenty of aggression on the side. 

The Match Review Panel has either charged or assessed a fired-up Swan's actions following seven of their past nine clashes.

"Every team at this level wants to push the boundaries to a point," Heeney said.

"We just want to go in and be as hard as we can. Whether that's being fiery and not stepping over the line or winning contested footy. 

"We're going in hard and we're back to our Swans trademark football.

"We want to go out there and hit every team hard with our contested footy. If we win that, it goes a long way to winning a game.”

On the injury front, the red and white could be boosted by the return of ruckman Kurt Tippett who has missed the past five matches with an ankle injury.

Their former first-choice ruck, Tippett has played just five games this season due to a combination of form and injury.

"Kurt has had a really unfortunate run with a run of injuries this year but we are expecting him to be available for selection this week,” Swans’ Head of Football Tom Harley told the club’s website.

“He has been through a strength phase and a running phase so he ramped up his training starting (Tuesday).

“He will have a final training session on Thursday but we can expect him to be available.”

Captain Josh Kennedy will need to pass a fitness test on Thursday but looks set to take on the GIANTS after being a late withdrawal with a tight quad last round. 

Another name in contention is young forward Will Hayward who has been sidelined for the past fortnight with a foot issue. He’ll play on Saturday, whether that be at AFL or NEAFL level.

“It is too early to say with Will as to which side he fronts up with on Saturday,” Harley said.

“Will has had a really exciting first half of the year but has been out the last two weeks with a foot complaint.

“We are expecting him to be available and will train strongly this week.”

This week’s Derby is crucial for both teams’ finals hopes but it could also go a long way to deciding the Coleman Medal with Swan Lance 'Buddy' Franklin and GIANT Jeremy Cameron locked in a fierce battle at the top of the leaderboard.

Franklin sits at the top with 43 goals for the season while Jeremy Cameron is equal-second with 41. Cameron averages almost three goals a game at Spotless Stadium while Franklin has been kept to three goals over his two games at the venue.

While Cameron’s consistency has seen him sail to the top of the tally, fellow GIANT Jonny Patton is hot on his heels with 31 goals for the season with 13 coming from his past three games.

Franklin toed the party line and underplayed the potential shootout between the big forwards. 

"I'm not really thinking about that," Franklin said.

"I'm thinking about the win, we go into the game only thinking about the win."

Be there as the GIANTS take on cross-town rivals the Swans in the latest instalment in the Sydney Derby in a blockbuster Saturday night clash at Spotless Stadium.

CLICK HERE to get your tickets for the game now.