The superstar forward has been the Hawks’ most iconic player of the post-Shane Crawford era and it’s easy to see why.
He’s kicked 567 goals in only 177 senior games and at the age of 26 is at the peak of his powers.
Just quietly, he also has a damn strong record against Collingwood.
In his 12 games against the Magpies, ‘Buddy’ has kicked 50 goals at an average of 4.16 per game.
In fact, the 2011 season aside, Franklin has kicked no less than four goals in his eight games against the Black and White since 2007.
During the season in which it won 22 of a possible 25 games (2011), Collingwood was able to keep Franklin to only one and three goals in their two meetings.
But even then, Buddy was still able to have an impact when it counted.
He kicked what appeared to be the match-winning goal after breaking clear of Chris Tarrant in the dying stages of the Preliminary Final.
Fortunately Luke Ball was on hand to seal the deal for the Pies at the other end.
Since 2007, Franklin has come up against a range of Collingwood defenders.
Sixth-gamer Tyson Goldsack held him to four goals in round 13, 2007 on an evening that Collingwood was without Simon Prestigiacomo and James Clement.
Then in 2008, Buddy got a hold of seventh-gamer Nathan Brown in round seven and the Goldsack-Nick Maxwell combination in round 18.
In the years since, he’s duelled with Simon Prestigiacomo, Ben Reid and Chris Tarrant at different stages.
It was Tarrant who kept Franklin to only one goal in round 15, 2011 and three goals in the Preliminary Final.
When the pair met in last year’s Qualifying Final, Tarrant battled manfully and won several one-on-one battles but still conceded four goals and three behinds.
Earlier this year, with Tarrant comfortably retired and playing country football for Violet Town, Brown, Reid and Goldsack all spent time shoulder-to-shoulder with Buddy.
He kicked four goals in wet conditions, but the one that lingers in the mind is his long bomb on the run from inside the centre square, skidding the ball through the wet after leaping over an opponent as he fell to ground.
Now that Ben Reid appears to be firmly entrenched in attack, the onus will fall upon Brown and Lachlan Keeffe to tackle Hawthorn’s trump card.
Both have claims to being the man who lines up alongside him at the first bounce while Reid’s presence offers coach Nathan Buckley some insurance should things go awry.
Expect a truckload of Channel Seven’s cameras to be focused squarely on Franklin and his opponent when the two sides do battle on Friday night.
Lance Franklin against Collingwood
Round 13 2007: 4 goals
Round 7 2008: 6 goals
Round 18 2008: 8 goals
Round 16 2009: 5 goals
Round 22 2010: 6 goals
Round 15 2011: 1 goal
Preliminary Final 2011: 3 goals
Round 1 2012: 5 goals
Qualifying Final 2012: 4 goals
Round 3 2013: 4 goals