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Swans keen to snatch home final in Franklin farewell

Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS

A triumph over fellow premiership contenders Melbourne to snatch a home AFL final is how the Sydney Swans want to send off Lance Franklin.

After forgoing his own farewell announcement in July, the legendary key forward will do a lap of honour around the SCG on Sunday as the Swans go head-to-head against the Demons.

"We might even put him in the goal square and see how he goes," Swans coach John Longmire said.

The road to the finals for the Swans has been long and hard, spending 16 consecutive weeks outside of the top eight as the side recovered from their 81-point 2022 grand final loss to Geelong.

Now the Swans enter their final clash of the home-and-away season as the favourites against the Demons, bringing with them a six-game winning streak.

"It never got down to the point (in the season) where we lost hope," Longmire said.

"It was always a case of, 'if we get on a bit of a run and we were able to be competitive, we get some important players back in the team - that would be a chance of playing some good footy'.

"There's still a lot of water to go under the bridge but we've been able to do both of those and play a bit more consistently over the second half of the year and give ourselves a chance."

The Demons head to the SCG after beating the Swans by 50 points earlier this season but they have won only 11 games at the famous ground since 1982.

Their last win came in 2019, ending a drought that started after 2006 victory.

The return of forwards Tom McDonald (ankle) and three-time club leading goalkicker Bayley Fritsch (foot) could potentially turn the odds in Melbourne's favour, who have been dogged by inaccuracy in front of goal.

Longmire expects both clubs will be putting up a fight with a home final up for grabs.

"It's always tough to win AFL games," he said.

"Both teams have plenty on the line ... obviously, you got to be able to win. That's most important, particularly from the position we've been in.

"We didn't have any wiggle room (throughout the season), we needed to keep winning.

"It's going to be a massive crowd here at the SCG and still a lot to play for. We're really looking forward to that."

Forwards Tom Papley will feature in this Sunday's squad despite being subbed off in the Adelaide Crows match due to hamstring tightness. Young gun Joel Amartey also returns from a hamstring injury.

Tom Hickey is set to play his 150th game, with the ruckman announcing earlier in the week he will retire at season's end.