Five Things - Eels v Bulldogs, Round 23

The Parramatta Eels have everything to gain and the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have nothing to lose when they play in Round 23 at Bankwest Stadium.

The Blue and Gold are painstakingly close to cracking the top four for the first time this season, with just three Rounds left.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs aren’t a chance of making the finals, but they will want to avoid the wooden spoon and have been playing some good football in the last few rounds.

Here are five things you need to know about their Thursday night clash.

Both teams on winning streaks

The Eels are on a four game winning streak and have won seven of their last eight games.

The Bulldogs are also enjoying a run of good form and can’t be underestimated despite their 13th spot ladder position.

They’re five wins from they’re last seven games.

Round two was the last time the teams played, when the Eels turned around a 10-0 deficit to claim a 36-16 victory at ANZ Stadium.

It’s shaping up to be an entertaining clash, with the Eels v Dogs meetings notoriously fiery.

Eels chase top four

The Eels have bounced back from last year’s wooden spooners in spectacular fashion and are only outside the top four on points for and against.

The last time they made the finals was in 2017, when they finished fourth on the ladder.

However they didn’t go any further, losing their qualifying and elimination finals games.

A few more wins in the back end of this season could see the Eels snare a top four finish.

Halves head-to-head

Eels half Mitch Moses has been key to the team’s success this year, leading the players around the park with ease.

He’s leading the NRL for try assists, kicks, kick metres and is fourth for the most points scored.

His pairing with Dylan Brown is strengthening every week, since the young five-eighths return from injury in Round 15.

The Bulldogs will have to shut down the pair if they’re any hope of winning.

But Kieran Foran is more than capable of matching Moses’ class, showing glimpses of the old Kieran during his return from injury last week.

He was instrumental in the Bulldog’s upset victory over the Rabbitohs and will also be key to his team’s success against the Eels.

Brad Arthur coaches 150th game at the Eels

Brad Arthur will celebrate coaching his 150th game at the Eels on Thursday, when his side takes on the Bulldogs.

Arthur joined the club in 2014 and led the Blue and Gold to the finals in 2017, with the side finishing in fourth position on the ladder.

He has been instrumental in turning the team around from last year’s wooden spoon performance, to now be in the finals race.

Team changes

There’s just one change to the Parramatta Eels line-up to take on the Bulldogs, with Junior Paulo named to start at prop after he rolled his ankle last week.

His return pushes Daniel Alvaro to the bench and Tepai Moeroa to the reserves.

The Bulldogs will play with the same 17 as last week, following their upset win over the Rabbitohs.