Ins: Evander Cummins (Dragons), Toby Evans (Panthers), Bureta Faraimo, Liam Foran (Salford), David Gower (Sea Eagles), Will Hopoate, Justin Hunt (Rabbitohs), Lee Mossop (Wigan), Corey Norman (Broncos), Nathan Peats (Rabbitohs), Brenden Santi (Tigers).
Outs: Cheyse Blair (Sea Eagles), Matt Keating (Burleigh), Reni Maitua (Bulldogs), Jake Mullaney (Salford), Pat O’Hanlon (Bulldogs), Ben Roberts (Storm), Matt Ryan (Wakefield), Taulima Tautai (Wakefield).
2013 Record – 16th, 14 points (5 wins, 19 losses).
Attack: 16th, 13.58 ppg
Defence: 16th, 30.83 ppg
Marquee Man: Jarryd Hayne – In a struggling team, Hayne continues to provide a glimmer of hope for embattled Eels fans. An exciting ball runner and playmaker, the fullback poses a genuine attacking threat at both ends of the field and is a central figure in all facets of their game.
Under the Spotlight: Chris Sandow – Viewed by some as the next Peter Sterling, the enigmatic halfback has been an epic fail since a big money move from the Rabbitohs. Reports of a gambling addiction, poor attitude and lack of fitness have seen him spend more time off the field than on in previous season’s. Fast forward to 2014 and Sandow is adamant he has conquered his demons and is back bigger and better than ever. Heard it all before?
Draw Analysis: Fair start with 6 of their first 7 matches in Sydney.
Statistics don’t lie, and unfortunately for Parramatta fans they highlight just what a miserable season it was for the Eels in 2013.
Last in both attack and defence, the Eels conceded on average a whopping 30 points per game (more than 10pts above the average) which culminated in their 2nd successive Wooden Spoon.
Their away record was truly deplorable, going 0/12 and managing to score more than 20pts on only one occasion. They have won just 4 games away from home in the past 3 years, so this will be an area of most concern for new coach Brad Arthur.
The Eels have made some positive signings with the arrival of Corey Norman and Will Hopoate, however it would be foolish to suggest they could turn things around quick enough to improve to the level required to compete week in week out.
Their main aim should be avoiding the three-peat and becoming the first side since the Gold Coast Seagulls (1991-93) to gain three successive Wooden Spoons.
Parramatta are $4.50 with Bet365 for Most Season Losses