Contract talks and some star player returns highlight the clash between Canterbury and the Tigers down at ANZ Stadium: they love their Sunday afternoon footy in Homebush and there is sure to be a good turnout to see two young sides go at each other.

LAST TIME OUT

The Tigers were out to a 22-10 lead before a resurgent Parramatta came back and knocked them off the perch 26-22, taking away the momentum the Tigers had from their win in North Queensland against the Cowboys. It was not a good sign for Ivan Cleary’s men to have a lead of that much slip through their fingers against a weaker team, and it does not bode well against the superior Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs are on a three game winning streak which improved on Good Friday, comprehensively gutting the Rabbitohs 24-9 by the way of a second half score blitz. Matt Frawley in only the third game in the top grade continued to excite and Moses Mbye took shifting in to the number nine jersey well – all signs are pointing to continued Bulldog dominance.

KEY MATCHUPS

Josh Morris and Brenko Lee are a very underrated centre pairing, combining speed and power to give the Bulldogs an edge. Moses Suli and Michael Chee-Kam are yet to gel and show such a cohesion the new Bulldogs edge men have shown with their wing partners. The battle of the outside backs, laden with the speed and strength needed in the modern game, could provide both fireworks and an indication of who’ll win by putting points on the board early.

Whether or not the star back is in Nick Politis’ rooster den in 2018 or chewing on bones in the kennel with Des, he’s been the best fullback in the game this year and the last. His showdown against the Bulldogs band-aid Brett Morris at fullback is poised to go off with two of easily the fastest men in football primed to go up against each other on Sunday afternoon, and it is sure to be entertaining for those in the crowd.

PREDICTION

It’s hard to not see the Bulldogs winning on Sunday barring Moses Mbye playing halfback all game or an incident on the bench where Sam Kasiano squashes the other three Bulldogs. Their class all along the park is likely to prevail against the green and more raw Tigers outfit who still have a lot to learn in first grade – a sentence that seems to come up year after year, which isn’t a great indication on the stability of the Tigers. The Bulldogs by 10, expect most of them to come in the second.

SQUADS

Tigers: 1. James Tedesco 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Michael Chee-Kam 4. Moses Suli 5. Kevin Naiqama 6. Mitchell Moses 7. Jack Littlejohn 8. Aaron Woods 9. Matt McIlwrick 10. Ava Seumanufagai 11. Josh Aloiai 12. Chris Lawrence 13. Elijah Taylor 14. Tim Grant 15. Sauaso Sue 16. Joel Edwards 17. Jacob Liddle 18. Jj Felise 19. Kyle Lovett 20. Justin Hunt 21. Luke Brooks

Bulldogs: 1. Brett Morris 2. Kerrod Holland 3. Josh Morris 4. Brenko Lee 5. Marcelo Montoya 6. Josh Reynolds 7. Moses Mbye 8. Aiden Tolman 9. Michael Lichaa 10. James Graham 11. Josh Jackson 12. Greg Eastwood 13. David Klemmer 14. Sam Kasiano 15. Danny Fualalo 16. Adam Elliot 17. Raymond Faitala-Mariner 19. Francis Tualau 20. Matt Frawley 21. Renouf To’omaga 23. Reimis Smith