Round 5 – Match 8 Preview: Parramatta Eels v Canberra Raiders

It seems as though last year’s Grand Final runners-up have hit rock bottom early this season, as the Eels suffered an 11 to nil defeat from the Sharks last round. It was the Eels third loss for 2010 and if they want to make the finals again they have a lot of improving to do, fast.

Parramatta have the added pressure of giving their skipper Nathan Cayless a final NRL season to look back on with joy after he announced his retirement for the end of this year.

The Eels will be keen to regain some fans and confidence this round and with the home ground advantage have been installed as the favourites with bookies around the country.

Canberra were also well beaten last week by the in-form Tigers, despite playing a sensational first 40 minutes of footy, and if they couldn’t keep up their stamina and win at home then their chances of securing victory as the visitors looks quite slim.

However, the last time the Raiders took on the Eels at Parramatta Stadium they put up a solid fight going down by only two points, but that was back in March last year.

To help them with their plight, Eels’ coach Daniel Anderson brings in Luke Burt and Ben Smith onto the field Monday night, both returning from injury. But can the experienced winger and talented backrower get them out of their slump?

Current Head-to-Head Odds: Eels $1.35 – Raiders $3.30