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Aussie Rules: Geelong v Sydney Swans Grand Final preview

Arguably the biggest event on the Aussie sporting calendar is finally here with Geelong and the Sydney Swans set to do battle at the MCG on Saturday.

To make it even more special the grand final is back at its home, the MCG, following stints in Brisbane and Perth, and over 90,000 fans will pack into the famous venue.

And they should be in for a treat, as will the millions of people watching on television around the world as there is not much separating these two sides.

They have both been the form teams in the competition for some time now. Geelong have not been beaten in 15 games and saw off Collingwood and Brisbane in finals to book their place in the grand final.

Sydney have also won nine on the bounce and have defeated both Melbourne and Collingwood to set up a date with Geelong.

Both sides are in red-hot form and will be full of confidence, so the grand final has all the ingredients to be a classic.

So let’s take a look at the very latest from both camps, while Geelong legend Cameron Mooney also give bet365 his thoughts on how the grand final will play out.

What:

Geelong v Sydney Swans

Where:

MCG, Melbourne

When:

14:30 (AEST) Saturday 24th September 2022

How to watch:

Channel 7, Foxtel, Kayo

Odds:Geelong 12/25, Sydney 7/4

Longmire drops selection bombshell

After week of guessing games and doubts surrounding one or two players, the teams have been named and a couple of big calls have been made.

Swans fans will be delighted to hear that Sam Reid has been named to play despite struggling with a groin injury.

Reid picked up the problem in the preliminary final win over Collingwood and it put a huge question mark of whether he would play.

Swans coach John Longmire has now confirmed that Reid has come through training well and is good to go.

However Longmire has dropped a selection bombshell by leaving Logan McDonald out of the side in favour of Hayden McLean who will make his first appearance since round eight.

McDonald has played in 17 games this season, including the last five, and Longmire admits it was a tough call to make.

"It's tough to go out of the team at any time, but particularly for a Grand Final," Longmire told reporters. "We just felt with Hayden McLean coming into the team this week, that was the specifics we needed from him so we made the decision.”

Cats delay Holmes call

Geelong's main injury worry this week has revolved around wingman Max Holmes who has been battling with a hamstring injury.

Holmes has been named to play, but that could change on Saturday morning if coach Chris Scott decides he is not 100percent ready to play.

Geelong do have plenty of strength in depth should Holmes miss out as Brandan Parfitt, Mark O’Connor and Sam Menegola are all waiting to step in.

Scott could not confirm on Friday whether Holmes will definitely play, but reading between the lines it would be a surprise if he did not start.

"We just need to make sure that we spend the requisite time over the next little bit working through whether he's absolutely right and whether that's the best thing for us," Scott revealed. "We haven't absolutely made that decision just yet."

Mooney backs Cats to edge a tight one

Geelong legend Cameron Mooney also believes that the grand final is too close to call, but he is delighted to see the best two teams in the competition battle it out for the flag.

"We have got the best two teams in the grand final," he told bet365. "Geelong are absolutely flying and have been on a great winning streak. They are in great form.

"Sydney over the last seven or eight weeks have been the best team in the competition so we are going to get a massive contest."

Mooney believes there is not much to choose between the two sides, who are evenly matched all over the park, and he is predicting a tight match.

But of course Mooney, who made 210 appearances for the Cats, is backing his boys to get over the line with a narrow win.

"We have two great attacking teams, two great defending teams and we have got two great midfields that are hard and run all day.

"It is going to be close but I am going with Geelong to win by four points."

The likes of Jeremy Cameron and Patrick Dangerfield are among the hot fancies to win the Norm Smith medal for best on ground, but Mooney believes a dark horse could scoop it.

"If you are after a roughie for the Norm Smith medal you cannot go past Tommy Atkins 50/1 who will be  the hardest man on the field. He’ll have 15 plus tackles, he’ll have 25 possession, 20 of them will be contested and he is going to be harder than a cat’s head."

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