Tom Hawkins confident Cats can knock out red-hot Sydney Swans

Sydney's red-hot form and Geelong's poor recent record in finals suggest otherwise, but spearhead Tom Hawkins insists the Cats are confident they will keep their AFL season alive with victory in Friday night's cut-throat semi.

The Swans could hardly have been more impressive in dismantling Essendon by 65 points on Saturday night, less than 24 hours after Geelong were humbled by 51 points by Richmond.

It was the Cats' seventh loss in nine finals since their most recent premiership triumph in 2011.

They have also lost their past three matches to the Swans, including last year's preliminary final - with the margin on each occasion being more than 35 points.

"You've got to be excited - there's no point in feeling sorry for yourself and getting down and wondering 'what if?'" Hawkins said on Monday.

"There is so much excitement.

"It's probably hard to believe, there's a lot of people outside the footy club talking and wondering if we can win this week, but within the footy club we're really excited about the challenge."

Goalsneak Dan Menzel was a shock omission for the qualifying final against the Tigers.

But with the Cats being held to a paltry tally of five majors, the club's second leading goalscorer in 2017 is almost certain to return against Sydney.

Midfielder Cam Guthrie will miss the MCG encounter with a low-grade calf strain, but tall utility Jake Kolodjashnij (calf) has been passed fit to take on the Swans at the MCG.

Since starting the season with six straight losses, Sydney have been the form team of the competition, winning 15 or their past 17 matches, including the demolition job on Essendon.

"It's amazing what they've been able to do, having been zero and six," said the 29-year-old Hawkins.

"They have almost rejuvenated with the youngsters they've got in their side.

"They take the game on ... they've got some great contested players through the midfield but they're a bit more than that now.

"They run and carry the football, they'e great by hand and by foot and they play an exciting brand of footy so it should be a cracking contest."

MOST RECENT THREE MATCHES BETWEEN SYDNEY AND GEELONG:

Round 20, 2017: Sydney 16.11 (107) bt Geelong 8.13 (61) at Simonds Stadium

Preliminary final, 2017: Sydney 15.7 (97) bt Geelong 8.12 (60) at MCG

Round 16, 2016: Sydney 15.8 (98) bt Geelong 9.6 (60) at Simonds Stadium.