Bulldogs v Eels preview

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Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels Friday 7:50pm at ANZ Stadium

You know the slogan - there has never been a better time be [insert name here].

Yeah, that hasn't applied to the Bulldogs. The famous club are languishing in 15th and if we look at the eight ball, the outlook is not very bright - so what better time to flip the script than against their most hated of rivals. 

Big names were meant to help the Bulldogs back to prosperity this season, but their attack remains stagnant, Kieran Foran and Aaron Woods haven't had the desired effect, so we're back at square one. They have also only crossed 20 points thrice, so they might need to make that a fourth, if they are to get over the Eels. 

The Eels have similar woes. The return of the prodigal son - Jarryd Hayne - hasn't materialised either and they started the season 0-6, two big victories over the similarly dysfunctional, Sea Eagles and Wests Tigers, has eased the pressure. 

Cowboys came back from a similar horrific start and we know how 2017 ended up, so there is hope and the Eels have quality throughout the team that they can string wins together through the middle of the season, especially if they aren't ripped apart by Origin. Moses looks like he has taken control of the side and the young half can break open the game at will.

Last meeting: Round 22 2017 - Bulldogs 4 Eels 20

Who to watch: Woe be to the kicking gods. Mitchell Moses had lead the comeback and could've sent the game to extra-time. Sadly for the blue and gold, he faded it wide, and it was more heartbreak. Thankfully, the games are weekly, so Moses has a chance to become what rugby league loves - a redemption story! He also has six try-assists and is the heart of the Eels attack, and against a clunky Dogs team, he'll find the room to allow the backline to sing. 

The halves has been a revolving door for the Bulldogs thus far this season - they have tried a handful of options, and Matt Frawley is in the hot seat currently. That constant upheaval puts the heaviest workload on Kieran Foran - the Kiwi half production has been down, only a single try, try-assist makes for grim reading but they'll need his leadership, kicking game and possibly, running game to get over a rejuvenated Eels side. 

The favourite: The bookies and punters seem more confident in Parramatta... but anything could happen.

My tip: The Eels I guess? Both sides have failed to impress this season, so it makes it hard to choose, but the visitors have looked better in the last month, so they just get the nod here. Eels by 2.

1. Moses Mbye 2. Brett Morris 3. Josh Morris 4. William Hopoate 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Matt Frawley 7. Kieran Foran 8. Aaron Woods 9. Jeremy Marshall-King 15. Danny Fualalo 11. Josh Jackson 12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 13. Rhyse Martin 10. David Klemmer 14. Adam Elliot 16. Renouf To'omaga 17. Kerrod Holland

1. Clint Gutherson 2. Bevan French 3. Michael Jennings 4. Brad Takairangi 5. George Jennings 6. Corey Norman 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Daniel Alvaro 9. Kaysa Pritchard 13. Peni Terepo 11. Manu Ma'u 12. Tepai Moeroa 14. Beau Scott 10. Suaia Matagi 15. Kenny Edwards 16. David Gower 17. Siosaia Vave

Referees: Ashley Klein, Peter Gough; Sideline Officials: Jeff Younis, Phil Henderson; Video Referees: Jared Maxwell, Ben Galea;

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