Still the only team to get the better of Penrith in 2022, the Eels will be hoping to replicate that success as they seek to maintain distance between themselves and the logjam of teams on the edge of the top eight.
The Panthers had to do it the hard way against a dogged Sharks side in miserable conditions last Saturday, and for the first time all year are presented with the motivation of facing an opponent who currently has the wood on them.
The Eels have suffered two defeats at CommBank Stadium this year, while the Panthers have won in five of their seven visits to the venue, with one of those losses coming against Parramatta in 2020.
A win will mean the Eels at the least maintain the four-point buffer between them and the four sides behind them in the race for a finals spot, while for Penrith it will inch them closer to securing the J.J. Giltinan Shield for the second time in three years.
Eels: Tom Opacic will start in the centres with Waqa Blake shifting to the wing in a late change for the Eels. Bryce Cartwright makes his return from a rib injury on the interchange, with Jakob Arthur the player to make way in the 17. Arthur is 18th man. Halfback Mitchell Moses requires just five points against the Panthers to hit 1000 career points.
Panthers: Moses Leota will start in the frontrow after recovering from a hand injury, with Matt Eisenhuth the player to drop out of the 17. Stephen Crichton will miss the game after suffering a laceration to his left ear against the Sharks which required plastic surgery last week. His place in the centres is taken by Robert Jennings. Five-eighth Jarome Luai is out with a knee injury for six weeks, replaced by Sean O'Sullivan.
Match: Eels v Panthers
Round 20 -
Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton GuthersonFullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika SivoWinger for Panthers is number 2 Taylan May
Centre for Eels is number 3 Will PenisiniCentre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
Centre for Eels is number 21 Tom OpacicCentre for Panthers is number 4 Robert Jennings
Winger for Eels is number 4 Waqa BlakeWinger for Panthers is number 5 Brian To'o
Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan BrownFive-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Sean O'Sullivan
Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell MosesHalfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-GillardProp for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed MahoneyHooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior PauloProp for Panthers is number 22 Moses Leota
2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Eels is number 12 Isaiah Papali'i2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
Lock for Eels is number 13 Ryan MattersonLock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
Interchange for Eels is number 14 Makahesi MakatoaInterchange for Panthers is number 14 Jaeman Salmon
Interchange for Eels is number 15 Bryce CartwrightInterchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
Interchange for Eels is number 16 Oregon KaufusiInterchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
Interchange for Eels is number 17 Marata NiukoreInterchange for Panthers is number 17 Charlie Staines
Replacement for Eels is number 18 Jake ArthurReplacement for Panthers is number 8 Matthew Eisenhuth
- Referee: Todd Smith
- Touch Judge: Matt Noyen
- Touch Judge: Kasey Badger
- Senior Review Official: Grant Atkins
Maika Sivo v Brian To'o: The two Pasifika powerhouses will come face to face at CommBank Stadium, with Sivo occupying Parramatta's left wing and To'o on the right for Penrith. Sivo has made his mark since returning to the field in round 14 and has four tries in his last three games, including a double last week. To'o was at his tackle-breaking best last up, smashing through six would-be attempts to clock up 60 post-contact metres on a night where he carried for 225 in total.
In 2022 these two sides have taken care of the ball better than anyone in the NRL, with the Eels' average completion rate of 80 percent this season bettered only by the Panthers' 81 percent. All up Penrith have made the fewest errors in the competition so far, averaging 9 per game, while the Eels have the third-best record in that department and average 9.4.