AFL Betting: Where Swans have no fear to fly
…the battle that could decide this one is the ruck duel between the double-barrelled Eagle towers of Cox and Natinui up against Mumford and Pyke.
If you thought you'd had your fill of rivalries last week with Carlton's shock win over Collingwood, David Murdoch urges you to get set for a feather-ruffling epic when the Swans take on the Eagles at Patersons on Sunday.
The last time these two sides met at Patersons it was a blowout by their standards, with a 13-point win to the Swans.
There have been some knock-out blows landed during their years of rivalry: in 2008, the Swans scored a blowout 10-goal win at ANZ, although the match is more notoriously remembered for the blow by Barry Hall landed on Brent Staker's chin.
From the 2005 qualifying final to round one in 2007, there were six matches between the belligerent birds that were decided by less than a goal, three of those by just the one point.
Wherever they've been positioned on the ladder, these two just seem to produce their best when they meet each other, and the fact they are both now sitting at the top of the perch makes it all the more intriguing.
The AFL tribunal appear to have dealt the Eagles a painful blow after banning Luke Shuey and Quinten Lynch for the match for various indiscretions in their win over the Kangaroos.
And yet while this appears to favour the Swans, there has been little in the past which has been able produce significant advantage as far as points are concerned for these two.
Amazingly, while the margins have been narrow, it's the Swans who have gained the upper hand recently, winning five of the last six matches against West Coast, including the last two at Patersons.
But since that last loss, the Eagles have drawn a line in the sand, winning their past 18 there.
You get the feeling that this is the one they have been waiting for.
The Swans have managed to produce the sort of form reminiscent of their epic 2005 premiership win, sitting on top of the ladder for the first time since 1996 after winning their last five matches and six of their last seven.
Adam Goodes is returning to form after injury, while Kieren Jack and Lewis Jetta are pushing for All-Australian honours.
However, the battle that could decide this one is the ruck duel between the double-barrelled Eagle towers of Cox and Natinui up against Mumford and Pyke. If the Sydney duo can hold their own and stop their counterparts hitting the scoreboard, as Cox did in the final quarter against the Kangaroos last week, the Swans should claim this battle of the high-flying birds.
I'm still a bit rattled after Carlton's win over the Pies last week, but I think the Swans can overcome the ladder-leading curse. Despite the 18-match home-winning-streak that will see the Eagles start as favourites, I think the loss of Lynch and Shuey will hurt the locals down the stretch.
Recommended Bet @ Betfair