Franklin back as Swans take aim at Bombers

Sydney's 3-0 start to the season has stunned the pundits, but the Bombers will be aiming to bring the winning run to an end when the teams lock horns.

LANCE FRANKLIN
LANCE FRANKLIN Picture: Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

Superstar Lance Franklin will be back on deck as Sydney attempt to make it four wins on the trot when they take on Essendon at the SCG on Thursday night.

The Swans have defied predictions to notch a stunning 3-0 start to the season, with premiership fancies Brisbane and Richmond among their victims.

Sydney haven't started a season with four straight wins since 2012, when they strung together five consecutive victories.

Franklin was rested from last week's 45-point demolition of Richmond at the MCG to ensure his ageing body wasn't overloaded.

His return against the Bombers will give an already-dangerous Swans forward line every more potency.

Sydney are the league's highest-scoring team so far this season, posting scores of 125, 121 and 117.

Franklin has booted 70 goals in his 16 AFL games against Essendon - his best return against any team.

He kicked bags of nine against the Bombers in both 2007 and 2008, and eight against them in 2013.

"Lance is feeling good, so it's great to have him back in," Sydney coach John Longmire said.

"He's a star player and he comes back into the team with a real presence in our front half, we expect him like all the others in our forward half to play a role."

Essendon showed they also boast plenty of firepower when they booted 22.11 (143) in last week's 75-point thrashing of St Kilda.

Longmire says he isn't getting carried away by his team's strong start to the season.

"We play a team that's won by 75 points off a five-day break. It's got an incredible ability to even you out this competition," Longmire said.

The injury-hit Bombers will be boosted by the return of skipper Dyson Heppell, who replaces Mason Redman (hamstring).