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A battle to gain ascendancy

Michael Whiting - AFL.com.au  May 5, 2017 2:07 PM

Fagan on Sydney clash Chris Fagan spoke to the media this morning ahead of the Lions clash with Sydney this weekend.

Chris Fagan says he's not surprised the Brisbane Lions are heavy underdogs for Sunday's trip to Sydney to play the winless Swans.

The Lions will be without skipper Dayne Beams, who is missing with a quad injury, and are coming off an 83-point belting from Port Adelaide.

Despite not winning a game this season, betting agencies around the country have the Swans as raging-hot favourites to break their duck at the SCG.

"They've got a lot of good players, a lot of experienced players, so that doesn't surprise me," the Lions coach said.

"On the back of our form last week, we didn't have a great night … we had our first game of the year where we were a bit off and we paid the price.

"Sydney are a fantastic football club and have been one of the most successful sides in the last 10 to 15 years, so the expectation around Sydney is that they'll bounce back at some point in time."

Fagan said although losing Beams – who is averaging 28 disposals a game through six rounds – is "huge", the Lions weren't dwelling.

"It's a loss for any AFL team that loses its captain," he said.

"All teams have players out, the Swans have got good players out too.

"We can't walk around lamenting the fact our captain's out, we've just got to make the best of what we've got.

"He was very positive and he was running very strongly at training last night, so we're not sure how long he's going to be (out), but going by that, that was fairly promising."

Fagan said the Lions would have to improve their pressure from last week's blowout, where they laid just 42 tackles.

"You only have to listen to (Swans coach) John (Longmire) speak in the media and they pride themselves on contested ball and tackling," Fagan said.

"Interestingly enough we talk about the same things every week, so the battle on the weekend will be very much won and lost around who can gain the ascendency in that area."