The Titans will need to produce a stunning form turnaround if they hope to end the Panthers' unbeaten start to the season.
After six rounds of tight contests in which their biggest winning margin was two points and their biggest loss was eight points, Justin Holbrook's men were humbled 30-4 by the Cowboys - hardly the ideal build-up for a clash with the premiers.
In stark contrast, the Panthers are flying at 7-0 and looking extremely ominous as they go in search of back-to-back titles.
With Nathan Cleary, Isaah Yeo, Stephen Crichton and Dylan Edwards at the peak of their powers the Panthers look all but unbeatable and it's hard to see Gold Coast stopping the juggernaut.
Sportsbet Betting preview: Titans v Panthers
Titans: A late switch on game day with Kevin Proctor moving into the starting side and David Fifita reverting to the bench.
AJ Brimson takes over from Jamayne Isaako at fullback, Will Smith goes to five-eighth, Patrick Herbert returns to centre and Corey Thompson came on to the wing on Thursday after Phil Sami (knee) failed to come up.
Moeaki Fotuaika starts at prop and Jaimin Jolliffe is out with a calf injury. Tanah Boyd and Herman Ese'ese join the bench.
Jayden Campbell (ribs) was listed among the reserves on Tuesday after having a run in Queensland Cup last weekend but he was left out when the squad was cut to 19 on Thursday.
Panthers: Impressive debutant Soni Luke retains his place on the bench as the Panthers go with the same 17 that took care of business against Canberra. Premiership-winning winger Brian To'o (knee) is aiming for a return in round nine.
No changes to the squad on game day. Chris Smith is 18th man.
Match: Titans v Panthers
Round 8 -
Fullback for Titans is number 1 AJ BrimsonFullback for Panthers is number 1 Dylan Edwards
Winger for Titans is number 5 Greg MarzhewWinger for Panthers is number 2 Charlie Staines
Centre for Titans is number 3 Brian KellyCentre for Panthers is number 3 Izack Tago
Centre for Titans is number 4 Patrick HerbertCentre for Panthers is number 4 Stephen Crichton
Winger for Titans is number 23 Corey ThompsonWinger for Panthers is number 5 Taylan May
Five-Eighth for Titans is number 6 Will SmithFive-Eighth for Panthers is number 6 Jarome Luai
Halfback for Titans is number 7 Toby SextonHalfback for Panthers is number 7 Nathan Cleary
Prop for Titans is number 8 Moeaki FotuaikaProp for Panthers is number 8 Matthew Eisenhuth
Hooker for Titans is number 9 Erin ClarkHooker for Panthers is number 9 Apisai Koroisau
Prop for Titans is number 10 Isaac LiuProp for Panthers is number 10 James Fisher-Harris
2nd Row for Titans is number 12 Beau Fermor2nd Row for Panthers is number 11 Viliame Kikau
2nd Row for Titans is number 17 Kevin Proctor2nd Row for Panthers is number 12 Liam Martin
Lock for Titans is number 13 Tino Fa'asuamaleauiLock for Panthers is number 13 Isaah Yeo
Interchange for Titans is number 11 David FifitaInterchange for Panthers is number 14 Soni Luke
Interchange for Titans is number 14 Tanah BoydInterchange for Panthers is number 15 Scott Sorensen
Interchange for Titans is number 15 Sam LisoneInterchange for Panthers is number 16 Spencer Leniu
Interchange for Titans is number 16 Herman Ese'eseInterchange for Panthers is number 17 Jaeman Salmon
Replacement for Titans is number 18 Jamayne IsaakoReplacement for Panthers is number 19 Chris Smith
- Referee: Peter Gough
- Touch Judge: Drew Oultram
- Touch Judge: Jon Stone
- Senior Review Official: Gerard Sutton
Toby Sexton v Nathan Cleary: At 21 and 11 games into his NRL career, the Titans' playmaker gets to test his skills against the best in the business and if Sexton can lead his side to an unlikely victory it would be a massive shot in the arm. Sexton needs to take control from the outset, kicking to the corners and riding his forwards to mix it up in the middle with the powerhouse Panthers pack. Cleary continues to evolve as the game's utlimate general and it'll take a very special performance to out-point him.
The Panthers have scored 100 more points than the Titans across the first seven rounds (220 to 120) and conceded 78 fewer points (84 to 162). The Panthers' differential of +136 was clearly the best in the NRL until the Storm ran rampant on ANZAC Day, winning by 60 and taking their differential to +141.
Match: Titans v Panthers
Round 8 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast