Parramatta Eels – $1.47 at Sportsbet
Penrith Panthers – $2.65
Phil Gould said the rebuild was done, but Penrith Panthers fans may beg to differ.
Ranked among the title favourites in preseason, Ivan Cleary’s men now occupy the foot of the ladder after copping six losses in a row.
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They have scored 88 points and conceded 166 in that run – alarming numbers in anyone’s language.
Thus, it is no surprise to see several changes for Thursday night’s clash at Bankwest Stadium.
The Parramatta Eels are also in need of a win after suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.
Coach Brad Arthur wanted a big response after the 54-point loss to Melbourne in the Magic Round, but a 17-10 loss was the best they could muster against North Queensland in Townsville.
Parramatta Eels team news
Tim Mannah and Maika Sivo return to the starting lineup, with Brad Takairangi and Daniel Alvaro demoted to the interchange. Blake Ferguson is named in the centres and George Jennings switches from the right wing to the left. David Gower replaces the axed Oregon Kaufusi on the pine. Bevan French is listed among the reserves.
Out: Oregon Kaufusi (reserves)
In: David Gower, Maika Sivo
Penrith Panthers team news
Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Josh Mansour and Frank Winterstein return to the starting 13, with Kaide Ellis, Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and the suspended James Maloney dropping out. Brian To’o shifts to the left wing and James Fisher-Harris moves to lock. Tim Grant and Liam Martin are on the bench.
Out: Kaide Ellis (reserves), James Maloney (suspension), Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (omitted)
In: Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Josh Mansour, Frank Winterstein
Eels vs Panthers tryscorer betting
Maika Sivo – Parra missed this guy last week in the tropics. The powerful Fijian winger has scored five tries from his last four starts and should prove a dangerous outlet early in the piece.
Nathan Cleary – The sad state of Penrith’s offence makes it tough to single out a strong candidate in the tryscorer betting markets. Cleary looks as likely as anyone after notching two tries over five weeks.
Parramatta vs Penrith stats and trends
- Parra rank second only to Cronulla (32) for line break assists with 30
- The Eels are also top three in the NRL for handling errors and missed tackles
- Penrith are the runaway leaders for missed tackles with 402 in 10 games
- No team has conceded more penalties this year than Penrith’s 79
Eels vs Panthers betting predictions
The last few weeks have shown us that both these teams are capable of some truly terrible football.
However, only one of them looks capable of raising the bar and pushing for finals.
Parra’s inconsistency is a real nuisance for punters, but there is no denying that their best is very, very good.
Penrith, meanwhile, look like a shadow of the side that reached the semi-finals last year.
Maloney’s absence only compounds the issue, so back the Eels for a big win at home.
Parramatta Eels by 13+ points – $2.80 at Sportsbet
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