What a mouth-watering match-up to start the finals series. Grand final re-match, combatants from one just week ago. For Hawthorn in 2013 it's been simply about what they manage to achieve in September. A finals appearance was considered a fait accompli. That time has arrived.
Welcome to tonight's live coverage of the first qualifying final, Hawthorn v Sydney live from the MCG.
Action starts at 7.50pm but stay logged in through pre-game for all the build-up.
The first major development of the night is that Cyril Rioli has not been passed fit to play for the Hawks.
Rioli is replaced in the selected side by Liam Shiels.
Hawthorn has promoted Liam Shiels straight to the starting 21 and Jed Anderson will start in the green vest.
Emergencies on standby are Shane Savage and Taylor Duryea.
The Hawks welcome back Max Bailey and Brent Guerra for the suspended Lance Franklin and omitted duo Savage and Duryea.
Liam Shiels missed rounds 15-21, played round 22 but was out of the Hawks' team last week.
B: Ben Stratton, Brian Lake, Brent Guerra
HB: Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Grant Birchall
C: Isaac Smith, Luke Hodge, Bradley Hill
HF: Luke Breust, Jack Gunston, Jordan Lewis
F: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Liam Shiels
FOLL: David Hale, Sam Mitchell, Brad Sewell
I/C: Max Bailey, Jed Anderson, Matt Spangher, Brendan Whitecross
There are no late changes for Sydney and the returning Lewis Jetta will start in the green vest.
Jetta has not played since round 10. Also in for Sydney are Dan Hannebery (last played R22), Nick Smith (R22) and key forward Kurt Tippett (R22).
Out for the Swans go Mitch Morton, Harry Cunningham, Shane Biggs and Brandon Jack.
The Hawks and Swans met twice during the home-and-away season but Kurt Tippett did not play either game. This will be Tippett's first meeting with Hawthorn since last year's preliminary final when he was still with Adelaide.
Emergencies standing by are Shane Biggs, Harry Cunningham and Mitch Morton.
B: Dane Rampe, Heath Grundy, Nick Malceski
HB: Jarrad McVeigh, Ted Richards, Nick Smith
C: Andrejs Everitt, Kieren Jack, Gary Rohan
HF: Daniel Hannebery, Jesse White, Ben McGlynn
F: Jude Bolton, Kurt Tippett, Shane Mumford
FOLL: Mike Pyke, Josh Kennedy, Ryan O'Keefe
I/C: Craig Bird, Tom Mitchell, Luke Parker, Lewis Jetta
For those unfamiliar with the workings of the AFL top eight system;
Tonight's winner goes straight to a home preliminary final in two weeks time.
Tonight's loser will host a semi-final next weekend against the winner of Sunday's match between fifth-placed Richmond and eighth-placed Carlton.
Hawthorn is 2-0 against Sydney this season having won 17.10 (112) to 16.4 (100) at Stadium Australia last week and 18.11 (119) to 12.10 (82) under lights at the MCG in round seven.
The Hawks have won seven of the last 10 against Sydney but the Swans won the one that mattered, last year's grand final.
In finals, the Hawks beat the Swans by 36 points in the 2011 second semi-final at the MCG. Prior to that the Hawks beat Sydney in 2001 by 55 points at Docklands in the elimination final.
Sydney's most recent finals win against Hawthorn prior to the 2012 grand final was by a goal in the first-versus-eighth qualifying final of 1996 at the SCG.