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NRL: Eels looking to keep up momentum

The Parramatta Eels are a team on the up as they prepare to host the New Zealand Warriors at CommBank Stadium on Saturday.

Climbing up the standings from 14th to sixth in recent weeks, the Eels are a team with momentum but they will have to do without some key personnel when they welcome the Warriors to Sydney.

WhatParramatta Eels v New Zealand Warriors
WhereCommBank Stadium, Sydney
When17:30 (AEST), Saturday 8th July 2023
How to watchKayo & Foxtel
OddsParramatta Eels 2.25, New Zealand Warriors 1.65

Eels on the rise

Looking more like the side that impressed in the NRL last season, the Eels' wins over the Rabbitohs, Cowboys, Bulldogs, Sea Eagles and Dolphins have seen them shoot up the ladder.

Much of their attacking prowess has been down to the duo of Clint Gutherson and Mitch Moses but both players will miss out on Saturday’s game due to Origin duty with New South Wales.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard is also away with NSW so Junior Paulo and Ofahiki Ogden are the starting props.

The loss of the Blues trio will have an obvious impact on the Eels, which is why they are the 2.25 underdogs going into Saturday’s encounter.   

However, that looks like a good price, considering the impressive form Parramatta have been enjoying in recent weeks and given they have the comforts of the CommBank Stadium around them.

Looking to the Line market, the hosts are also available at 1.96 to win with a +3.5 point handicap this weekend.   

Warriors ready to go with or without Johnson

There is some uncertainty in the Warriors’ camp going into the weekend’s game, with star playmaker Shaun Johnson and his wife expecting the birth of their second child at any moment.

Head coach Andrew Webster is willing to give Johnson as much time as possible before deciding if he will pull out of the side or travel to Sydney on Friday.

"I am open to it [being a call on Friday] and the reason why I am open to it is we have got a plan and know what we are going to do if he doesn't come," Webster said. 

"Often this year we haven't had every player available and we have done a good job, so I can't see why we can't do it again. 

"We have got a plan for both scenarios, so we have got no excuses either way.”

Utility Dylan Walker is waiting in the wings should Johnson remain in New Zealand. Walker impressed in starts earlier this season and he can certainly do a job for the Warriors against the Eels.

The Warriors are 1.65 to win the game, while they are 1.87 in the Line market to fall on the right side of a -3.5 handicap.  

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