Parramatta's credentials as a true premiership contender will be tested in the absence of star half Mitchell Moses, who had started 2020 in sublime touch before injuring his calf against the Raiders.
Moses' halves partner Dylan Brown continues to come of age. He looks more than capable of running the show and he has plenty of experienced hands around him to make the job easier.
The Cowboys have been hot and cold this season but on their day are capable of racking up big scores and running even the best defences ragged.
Paul Green's men will need another five-star showing from their own playmakers Jake Clifford, Scott Drinkwater and Reece Robson if they are to spring an upset
Match: Eels v Cowboys
Round 8 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Eels: The Eels will start 1-17 after Daniel Alvaro and George Jennings were the last two dropped from the bench. Former Dragon Jai Field replaces Mitch Moses (calf) at halfback with David Gower getting a run on the bench. Eels winger Maika Sivo has scored 15 tries in 16 games at Bankwest Stadium. Stefano Utoikamanu and Will Smith were cut from the extended squad on Thursday night.
Cowboys: Valentine Holmes returns from injury and will start the match in No.19. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow drops out of the squad to make way for the former NFL player. Corey Jensen was the other player left out an hour before kick-off. Jordan McLean (calf) ws ruled out on Thursday with Francis Molo to start at prop and Reuben Cotter joining the bench. Jake Granville was the other player omitted from the extended bench 24 hours before kick-off. Justin O'Neill has been named on the wing with Tom Opacic at centre. Winger Kyle Feldt has scored eight tries from his past five games against the Eels.
Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton GuthersonFullback for Cowboys is number 19 Valentine Holmes
Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika SivoWinger for Cowboys is number 2 Kyle Feldt
Centre for Eels is number 3 Michael JenningsCentre for Cowboys is number 3 Tom Opacic
Centre for Eels is number 4 Waqa BlakeCentre for Cowboys is number 4 Esan Marsters
Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake FergusonWinger for Cowboys is number 5 Justin O'Neill
Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan BrownFive-Eighth for Cowboys is number 6 Scott Drinkwater
Halfback for Eels is number 7 Jai FieldHalfback for Cowboys is number 7 Jake Clifford
Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-GillardProp for Cowboys is number 8 Josh McGuire
Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed MahoneyHooker for Cowboys is number 9 Reece Robson
Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior PauloProp for Cowboys is number 17 Francis Molo
2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane2nd Row for Cowboys is number 11 Shane Wright
2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Ryan Matterson2nd Row for Cowboys is number 12 Coen Hess
Lock for Eels is number 13 Marata NiukoreLock for Cowboys is number 13 Jason Taumalolo
Interchange for Eels is number 14 Ray StoneInterchange for Cowboys is number 14 Ben Hampton
Interchange for Eels is number 15 David GowerInterchange for Cowboys is number 15 Gavin Cooper
Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon KaufusiInterchange for Cowboys is number 16 Peter Hola
Interchange for Eels is number 17 Brad TakairangiInterchange for Cowboys is number 18 Reuben Cotter
- Referee: Ben Cummins
- Touch Judge: Tim Roby
- Touch Judge: Ziggy Przeklasa-Adamski
- Senior Review Official: Jared Maxwell
Reed Mahoney v Reece Robson. Eels rake Mahoney is the glue that binds Parramatta, going about his work with class and zero fuss. Robson, who like Mahoney is 22, has made the most of his chance to wear the Cowboys No.9 and possesses a strong running game.
North Queensland winger Kyle Feldt leads the NRL with nine tries. Eels winger Maika Sivo – who scored a league-high 22 tries in 2019 – has four so far this year.