Last years bottom place Parramatta Eels welcome the defending NRL and World Club Challenge champions the Sydney Roosters to Pirtek Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with the Roosters visiting as heavy betting favorites.
The Roosters can look forward to the return of Jared Wearea-Hargraves, but whether or not the Eels can look forward to the return of the Roosters to Pirtek remains to be seen.
Just four short weeks ago, Parramatta were dismantled by the Roosters as they mercilessly made their way to 56 points. That game will provide motivation for what the Eels don’t want to happen at home, but are they really good enough to respond.
Four weeks is not a long time and after sitting in the middle of the pack through the first games, the Roosters will want to build some momentum here after dropping their last two games.
The Roosters have been playing in the same positive way as they were last season but some of the pieces just haven’t fallen in to place just yet. Parramatta, with all due respect, provides a potentially simple opportunity to put one or two things right – but only if Sydney are at their best, which perhaps they aren’t right now.
That said, the Eels are the side on paper that’s in better form, and their confidence at least should help to make this a more competitive game. There’s every chance the Eels could give the Roosters a scare early in the game.
From a betting point of view we’d have to say it’s hard to imagine the Champs losing three in a row, and especially considering they beat this team 56-4 already this season.
On the handicap we’ve been given as many as 7 points to work with by the bookmakers though, so we have to decide whether or not the Eels will make this competitive enough to back them.
I certainly don’t see the value in backing a rather out of form favorite.
The Eels some have a powerful backline full of skill, and they’ll be able to compete. They’re going to need strong performances from Chris Sandow and Nathan Peats.
Whilst I don’t see outright revenge in the form of a surprise win for Parramatta, I see enough talent to at least do themselves credit here and put right the horror show at Allianz Stadium behind them.
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