Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels NRL Finals Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Can Eels stun Storm to make preliminary finals?

Andrew Hendrie 19 Sep 2019
  • Melbourne Storm face Parramatta Eels for a place in the preliminary finals on Saturday
  • Eels have won two of their last three meetings at AAMI Park
Storm face Eels on Saturday (PA Images)

Minor premiers Melbourne Storm find themselves in a sudden-death showdown if they are to make the preliminary finals when the face a rampaging Parramatta Eels outfit on Saturday night.

Storm vs Eels kicks off at 7.50pm AEST at AAMI Park. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Channel 9 in Australia.

Prediction

Match Preview


Melbourne have to make the Grand Final the hard way after suffering a disappointing home loss to Canberra last week - and their first obstacle comes in the form of an on-fire Parramatta side on Saturday night.

Before the Storm can even think about a Grand Final rematch with the Roosters in the preliminary final, they must navigate past an Eels side who registered the biggest winning margin in finals history last week.

And when you throw in the scars from the 2009 final - where Melbourne beat Parramatta with a team over the salary cap to win a premiership they were later stripped of - there’s a lot of factors in play for this one.

After going through the season with barely any defeats, it looks as if the Storm are struggling to raise their intensity like the other top sides in the finals. Apart from a big win over Manly (where the Sea Eagles had countless injuries), the Storm haven’t been a well-oiled machine over the last month or so, losing twice to the Raiders and posting scrappy wins over the Cowboys and Titans.

It’s tough to suddenly switch into gear again when you’ve been in cruise control for the bulk of the season, and to my eyes, it looks like Melbourne are finding it difficult to manage games at this intensity right now.

Meanwhile, the Eels are as confident as ever after last week’s blistering 58-0 whitewash of the Broncos at Bankwest.

It’s been a dream season for Eels fans after last year’s wooden spoon finish, and with Mitchell Moses starting to play to his potential, Brad Arthur’s side have given supporters genuine reason to believe their premiership drought could be snapped this season.

Parramatta won’t be afraid of travelling to AAMI Park either - they won 22-6 back in 2017 and lost another recent clash at the venue 18-16, so in their current form they are more than capable of producing the upset.

At these odds, I’m happy to back them as well. Melbourne haven’t been convincing for a while now, and although it’s likely Craig Bellamy will get his team fired up for this clash, the Eels are playing the type of football that could rattle their structure. If the Eels can bring their Bankwest form to AAMI Park (a big if, admittedly), they are every chance of knocking the minor premiers out of the competition.

Match Odds


Melbourne Storm - $1.38
Parramatta Eels - $3.00

Stats


  • Storm have won their last three meetings
  • Melbourne smashed Parramatta 64-10 back in Magic Round
  • Eels have won two of their last three encounters at AAMI Park

Teams


Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane 14. Brandon Smith 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Max King 17. Joe Stimson 18. Curtis Scott 19. Tino Faasuamaleaui 20. Tom Eisenhuth 21. Brodie Croft

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Michael Jennings 4. Waqa Blake 5. Blake Ferguson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Kane Evans 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Manu Ma’u 13. Nathan Brown 14. Brad Takairangi 15. Daniel Alvaro 16. Tepai Moeroa 17. Marata Niukore 18. Ray Stone 19. Jaeman Salmon 20. Peni Terepo 21. Josh Hoffman

Tips



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Melbourne Storm vs Parramatta Eels NRL Finals Tips, Predictions and Match Preview - Can Eels stun Storm to make preliminary finals?

Minor premiers Melbourne Storm find themselves in a sudden-death showdown if they are to make the preliminary finals when the face a rampaging Parramatta Eels outfit on Saturday night.

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