Midfield tussle key to battle between Wests and the Eels

AFTER being identified as potential wooden spooners at the start of the season, the West Tigers and Parramatta will be battling to retain their places in the top eight when they clash at ANZ Stadium this afternoon.

The Wests Tigers play a totally different style of football to Parramatta, and the battle for the middle third of the field will decide this game, which means some heavy hitting and aggression from the forwards fighting for ascendancy and key metres.

Prop Aaron Woods (pictured) has been great in taking the Tigers forward in their last two wins over quality sides North Queensland a crushing win over Manly.

The return of fiery forward Darcy Lussick on Parramatta's bench from a four-week suspension will make sure the Tigers' aggression does not go unanswered.

If the Eels forwards can gain ascendancy, the classy backline led by Jarryd Hayne, Will Hopoate, Willie Tonga and Fijian destroyer Semi Radradra will prove difficult to stop. The Tigers get creative utility Braith Anasta back which will also be a bonus.