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Manly claimed a crucial win on the road last week, overcoming an increasingly resilient Cowboys.

Their sixth victory of the season lifted them back into the top eight and a Saturday night win over the in-form Panthers would be a huge shot in the arm for Des Hasler's team.

Penrith cruised to an easy win over the Titans last week to reclaim top spot on the Telstra Premiership ladder.

The Panthers have won five straight since losing 16-10 to the Eels in round five.

The Rundown

Team news

Sea Eagles: Sean Keppie replaces Jack Gosiewski on the bench. Dylan Walker was listed in the reserves on Tuesday and coach Des Hasler on Friday said he would play if he recovered well from the captain's run following an assessment on Saturday morning. The five-eighth's return is a huge boost for Manly.

Prop Morgan Boyle (groin) is also listed on the extended bench. Second-rower Joel Thompson is named despite spraining his ankle last week. Manly have won six of their past nine games at Lottoland.

Cade Cust and Boyle were omitted on Friday. Haumole Olakau'atu and Tevita Funa were cut an hour before kick-off.

Panthers: Two late changes for the Panthers with Api Koroisau coming off the reserves list and into the starting side after overcoming an elbow injury. Koroisau will play in jersey No.18 with Mitch Kenny dropping out. Billy Burns has dropped off the bench and his place is taken by Zane Tetevano, who returns from a back problem.

Viliame Kikau returns in the back row, with Tyrone May dropping back to the interchange and Matt Burton out. Centre Stephen Crichton has scored eight tries in his past six games.

Four-try hero Charlie Staines came into the starting side on Friday after he returned to training this week. Malakai Watene-Zelezniak and Burton were omitted on Friday.

Key match-up

Dylan Walker v Jarome Luai. No-one doubts that the clash between opposing halfbacks Daly Cherry-Evans and Nathan Cleary will be enthralling, but it's the battle between rival five-eighths Walker and Luai that could prove decisive.

Walker's return from an ankle injury will add plenty of spark to Manly's attack and he'll be keen to make a mark. Luai has cemented his position as Cleary's right-hand man and is proving he has the maturity and poise to be a top-flight No.6.

Stat Attack

The Sea Eagles and Panthers squared off just once last year, with Penrith prevailing 15-12 in a highly physical clash at Panthers Stadium. The home side led 9-0 at half-time and did just enough to prevent Manly from stealing victory in a tight second half. Both teams scored converted tries, while James Maloney kicked a penalty goal and field goal which proved decisive.