With both teams coming off tough losses last week, Melbourne and Manly should be expected to put on a show tonight in a bid to reignite their premiership campaign.
On their day, both of these teams remain premiership contenders and tonight’s contest is just what these two sides need to rediscover their championship credentials.
The Storm suffered a surprising 12-10 defeat against Penrith last week which prompted coach Craig Bellamy to proclaim that his side was struggling to match the character and desire for victory of their opposition.
After back to back losses to the Raiders and Panthers, Melbourne at home should be expected to give it their all against a Manly team coming off a bruising defeat to the Roosters.
The Sea Eagles had numerous chances to perhaps steal victory against Sydney, but were constantly thwarted by their own mistakes and terrific Roosters defence.
With Brett Stewart still missing, Manly stars Keiran Foran, Jamie Lyon and Daly Cherry-Evans will have to be at their best if they are to give the Sea Eagles an edge in attack tonight against a Storm outfit desperate to click at home.
Both Manly and Melbourne are proud clubs and should leave nothing in the tank tonight in a match that promises to be an absolute beauty.
The Storm have struggled to play at their best at home this season and really need to go back to the formula that has served them so well over the past few years.
Melbourne pride themselves on strong discipline, good percentage play and low error counts and will need to master all three aspects tonight if they are to return to the winners circle.
Bellamy would have no doubt put his troops through a rigorous training regime this week in a bid to get the players ready for a tough encounter tonight.
The same however can be said of Manly coach Geoff Toovey, so expect the Sea Eagles to also be prepared for a war up the middle of the park.
With both teams fairly evenly matched, the difference between the two teams tonight could very well hinge on Brett Stewart’s absence for Manly.
Without Stewart chiming into the play, Manly’s attack look disorganised at times against the Roosters and it was this disorganisation that led to the Sea Eagles conceding the opening try against Sydney last week.
While Melbourne has also struggled in attack in recent weeks, the key trio of Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk and Cameron Smith remain in the side and a strong performance from either of them should be enough for the Storm to conjure up a tight victory.
Storm by six.