Two teams in very different situations will meet at Bankwest Stadium this Saturday in a clash that could help shape the NRL finals.
The Parramatta Eels are sitting pretty in sixth place after breaking their away-game hoodoo with a gritty 12-4 win over St George Illawarra.
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Depending on other results this week, another home victory could put Brad Arthur’s men within striking distance of the top four.
The Newcastle Knights were cruising towards the finals a few weeks ago, but five consecutive defeats have seen them slide from fifth to 11th.
With the likes of Cronulla, Wests, Penrith and Brisbane all lifting their game over the past month, the Knights need to turn things around ASAP to have any hope of featuring in September.
Parramatta Eels Round 21 team news
With Parra in prime form, the selectors have named an unchanged 17 for Saturday’s game at Bankwest. Greg Leleisiuao, Jaeman Salmon, Peni Terepo and Stefano Utoikamanu are named in the reserves.
Newcastle Knights Round 21 team news
Despite five losses in a row, Knights coach Nathan Brown has stuck with the same squad that got done by Manly Warringah last week. Jamie Buhrer, Beau Fermor, Danny Levi and Jirah Momoisea are on standby.
Eels vs Knights Round 21 tryscorer tips
Maika Sivo – Parra’s tryscoring machine needed only four minutes to break the deadlock against the Dragons last time out. Sivo leads the NRL with 15 majors for the year, so it is no surprise he is Sportsbet’s $7 favourite in first tryscorer betting.
Kalyn Ponga – Who knows where the Knights would be without their superstar fullback? Ponga has found the line in eight of his last 10 NRL starts, which makes his $2.40 anytime tryscorer odds at Sportsbet look like very good value indeed.
Eels vs Knights NRL stats and trends
- Parramatta have shot up the NRL ladder with six wins in their last eight games
- Eels halfback Mitchell Moses leads the competition for try assists with 20
- Newcastle have managed only one win since losing to Melbourne back in NRL Round 14
- Both the Eels (664) and the Knights (633) rank in the top four in missed tackles
Eels vs Knights NRL Round 21 predictions
Neither of these teams have especially good defensive numbers, so we should see an open game with plenty of action at either end. While the Knights are in all sorts of trouble, the Eels are deadly at home and should fill their boots.
Parramatta Eels by 13+ points – $3.50 at Sportsbet
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