Raiders centre Jarrod Croker sandwiched by the Wests Tigers defence.

Tipping guide: Round 25 previews

Before you lock in this week's footy tips, check out our full match previews for all eight games.

Spring has certainly come early for rugby league fans, with Thursday night's blockbuster bringing a premature taste of September action.

One of these sides will live to fight again in 2014 while the vanquished team can start preparing for 2015.

Newcastle have the job ahead of them repelling a confident Eels outfit who have a sniff of finals football in their nostrils.

Ricky Stuart's Raiders will be looking to post back-to-back wins for the first time in 2014 when they take on the struggling Wests Tigers on Saturday.

Phil Collins could feel it, and any league fan worth their salt should too; there's gonna be a dirty great waft of finals footy in the air come Saturday night.

When Andrew McFadden and Neil Henry sat down to name their sides for this clash the urge to make wholesale changes must have been hard to deny.

There's only one game this weekend that features two top four sides going at it, and this right here is it.

The Sharks face an uphill battle here against a Cowboys team on their home patch that have notched five wins from their past six games.

Our writers make their predictions for how this weekend's games will play out.