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Canterbury's valiant efforts were finally rewarded when they secured their second win of the season against top-four aspirants Newcastle last week.

With many in the squad playing for their futures as Trent Barrett's arrival in 2021 approaches, the Bulldogs have plenty of motivation to close out the season strongly under interim coach Steve Georgallis.

But they'll need to be at their giant-killing best to take down western Sydney rivals Parramatta, who rebounded from a loss by beating the Wests Tigers in round 11 to firmly remain in the top four.

The Eels have regained some key troops and will want to fine tune their combinations again leading into the finals.

The Rundown

Team news

Bulldogs: The Bulldogs will start 1-17 after Chris Smith and Reimis Smith were the two players left out an hour before kick-off. Mid-season recruit Tim Lafai replaces Kerrod Holland at centre. Jack Cogger and Sauaso Sue join the interchange in place of Brandon Wakeham. Kerrod Holland and Renouf To'omaga were the players omitted from the squad on Saturday.

The Bulldogs have won three of their past four games at ANZ Stadium.

Eels: No late changes for the Eels, with reserves Stefano Utoikamanu and David Gower the last two players to be omitted. Ryan Matterson (head knock) and Will Smith dropped out of the side 24 hours before kick-off with Marata Niukore starting in the back row and Brad Takairangi on the bench. Kane Evans (calf) and Oregon Kaufusi (broken hand) return on the bench.

The Eels have won seven of their past nine games against the Bulldogs.

Team Lists

Backs

  • Fullback for Bulldogs is number 1 Nick Meaney
    Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton Gutherson
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 2 Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
    Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika Sivo
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 3 Tim Lafai
    Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael Jennings
  • Centre for Bulldogs is number 4 Jake Averillo
    Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa Blake
  • Winger for Bulldogs is number 5 Marcelo Montoya
    Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake Ferguson
  • Five-Eighth for Bulldogs is number 6 Kieran Foran
    Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan Brown
  • Halfback for Bulldogs is number 7 Lachlan Lewis
    Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell Moses

Forwards

  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 8 Aiden Tolman
    Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-Gillard
  • Hooker for Bulldogs is number 9 Jeremy Marshall-King
    Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed Mahoney
  • Prop for Bulldogs is number 10 Dylan Napa
    Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior Paulo
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 11 Josh Jackson
    2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane
  • 2nd Row for Bulldogs is number 12 Raymond Faitala-Mariner
    2nd Row for Eels is number 15 Marata Niukore
  • Lock for Bulldogs is number 13 Luke Thompson
    Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan Brown

Interchange

  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 14 Jack Cogger
    Interchange for Eels is number 14 Andrew Davey
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 15 Sione Katoa
    Interchange for Eels is number 16 Kane Evans
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 16 Sauaso Sue
    Interchange for Eels is number 17 Oregon Kaufusi
  • Interchange for Bulldogs is number 17 Ofahiki Ogden
    Interchange for Eels is number 18 Brad Takairangi

Key match-up

Kieran Foran v Dylan Brown: When the Bulldogs play well, chances are a fit and firing Kieran Foran is a major reason. That was exactly the case last round. The five-eighth will be keen to keep that form going against his former club. Eels No.6 Brown has grown enormously in 2020, perfectly complementing Mitchell Moses and feeding the outside backs.

Stat Attack

Parramatta lead the league for tackle breaks with 404 - an average of 36.7 per match. That's concerning for Canterbury, who are ranked an unfortunate third for missed tackles with 365 (33.1 per match).