Two high-flying teams come together on Sunday evening with neither having tasted a loss since the Dragons' defeat to Cronulla back in round one.
Parramatta survived an Easter Monday scare against Wests Tigers to move to 4-0 alongside Penrith at the top of the ladder while the Dragons capitalised on an unfortunate injury toll to the Knights to record their third straight win.
The Eels are 2-0 at their Bankwest Stadium fortress so far this year but the Dragons took the points away last time they were here in round 14 last year.
Eels v Dragons
Match: Eels v Dragons
Round 5 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Eels: Ryan Matterson has been ruled out of Sunday's match against the Dragons due to ongoing concussion symptoms. Matterson has been sidelined since leaving the field following a head knock in round two.
Isaiah Papali'i comes into the second row and Ray Stone joins the bench.
After returning from a broken jaw via the NSW Cup last week, Bryce Cartwright is set to make his club debut off the interchange with Keegan Hipgrave making way.
Jordan Rankin was cut from the squad 24 hours before kick-off. Hipgrave was the last man cut an hour before game time and Haze Dunster is the 18th man.
The Eels are aiming for a 5-0 start for the second consecutive season.
Dragons: Jack Bird will return at centre from a one-game suspension, with Brayden Wiliame dropping to the bench and Jackson Ford to 18th man.
Poasa Faamausili and Max Feagai dropped off the Dragons' extended bench 24 hours before kick-off. Jordan Pereira was the last man cut an hour before kick-off.
Forwards Trent Merrin (150th club) and Daniel Alvaro (100th NRL) will play milestone games.
Fullback for Eels is number 1 Clinton GuthersonFullback for Dragons is number 1 Matthew Dufty
Winger for Eels is number 2 Maika SivoWinger for Dragons is number 2 Cody Ramsey
Centre for Eels is number 3 Tom OpacicCentre for Dragons is number 3 Jack Bird
Centre for Eels is number 4 Marata NiukoreCentre for Dragons is number 4 Zac Lomax
Winger for Eels is number 5 Blake FergusonWinger for Dragons is number 5 Mikaele Ravalawa
Five-Eighth for Eels is number 6 Dylan BrownFive-Eighth for Dragons is number 6 Corey Norman
Halfback for Eels is number 7 Mitchell MosesHalfback for Dragons is number 7 Adam Clune
Prop for Eels is number 8 Reagan Campbell-GillardProp for Dragons is number 8 Blake Lawrie
Hooker for Eels is number 9 Reed MahoneyHooker for Dragons is number 9 Andrew McCullough
Prop for Eels is number 10 Junior PauloProp for Dragons is number 10 Paul Vaughan
2nd Row for Eels is number 11 Shaun Lane2nd Row for Dragons is number 11 Josh Kerr
2nd Row for Eels is number 15 Isaiah Papali'i2nd Row for Dragons is number 12 Tariq Sims
Lock for Eels is number 13 Nathan BrownLock for Dragons is number 13 Tyrell Fuimaono
Interchange for Eels is number 14 Oregon KaufusiInterchange for Dragons is number 15 Trent Merrin
Interchange for Eels is number 16 Will SmithInterchange for Dragons is number 16 Daniel Alvaro
Interchange for Eels is number 17 Bryce CartwrightInterchange for Dragons is number 17 Brayden Wiliame
Interchange for Eels is number 18 Ray StoneInterchange for Dragons is number 19 Kaide Ellis
Reserve for Eels is number 19 Haze DunsterReserve for Dragons is number 18 Jackson Ford
- Referee: Grant Atkins
- Touch Judge: Dave Munro
- Touch Judge: Phil Henderson
- Senior Review Official: Henry Perenara
Reed Mahoney v Andrew McCullough: The Eels' No.9 has snuck under the radar as one of the form players of the competition after four rounds. His passing and kicking games have blossomed this year and he has been among his side's three best players every game so far.
Tackle-machine McCullough has been a critical cog for the Red V, providing reliable service to the forwards and proving an astute recruit so far.
The Dragons got the win last week despite making 16 errors against just seven from their opponents; they can't afford to do that again if they want to topple the co-ladder leaders on their home patch.
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