The stakes will be high when these two Western Sydney outfits clash on Easter Monday.
Neither side has been in great form over the past month which is a real shame for their supporters after both of them began so brightly.
Parramatta are coming into this off the back of four straight losses with the latest of those being against the Warriors in New Zealand last week 22-10. Wests Tigers will at least have some confidence after scoring a surprise 26-12 win over the Cowboys in Townsville.
Parramatta begun the season with two straight wins but since then have been beaten in four straight games by an average of 12.75 points.
Coach Brad Arthur will be without tryscoring whiz Bevan French for this encounter too which won’t help their misfiring attack which has only scored 48 points in the past month.
It doesn’t bode well for the Eels either that they’ve just played the Warriors. Just two teams have won the week after having played the Kiwi outfit and they are the top two in the competition – Stgeorge Illawarra and Melbourne.
Wests Tigers gave their new coach Ivan Cleary a great start to his tenure at the club last week.
Much like their effort against the Storm a few weeks ago, the Tigers leaped out to a big lead but this time around they were able to repel a number of Cowboy attacks on their line to take out the win.
Everything went against them last week stats-wise yet they were still able to get the job done and that says something about the influence Cleary has already had on the team. They had less possession, missed 32 tackles, had a 9-3 penalty count against them and didn’t make anywhere near as much running metres as their rivals.
Mitchell Moses was highly influential and he will need to take on a starring role yet again here if the Tigers are to go back-to-back. Interesting to see how Moses performs considering all the news last week that the five-eighth was set to join the Blue and Golds.
Wests Tigers have had the wood on their rivals since 2011 by winning seven of their past 10 encounters.
Even though this ‘Battle of the West’ is usually close seven of those games have resulted in double figure winning margins. In fact, the average winning margin for either side in this fixture is 12 points.
A Tigers win by 7-12 points is returning a very juicy $8.50 with Sportsbet.
There is an interesting anomaly between these sides when playing at ANZ. In all 10 matches they’ve played at the venue, the designated home team has lost each time. The Tigers are this week’s ‘home’ side.
In a very tough one to choose we are going with the Tigers.
They’ll have their tails up in the air following their big win in Townsville and now that Cleary has been confirmed as coach, the team has some surety as to where they are heading for the rest of 2017.
Although Luke Brooks is still missing from the line-up we think they’ll have too many guns for an Eels outfit that has seemed lost in the past few weeks.