Giants have to make a huge statement
Swinton shocker should galvanise Huddersfield
Sky Sports 3, 8pm Thursday
There could hardly be a bigger contrast in the form and fortunes of Leeds and Huddersfield before the West Yorkshire derby at Headingley.
The Rhinos have soared to second in the Betfred Super League having won seven of their last eight games in all competitions and are now just 13-2 to win an eighth Grand Final.
The Giants have slumped to second-bottom. Rick Stone's sinking side haven't won in nine games and last Sunday suffered one of the biggest humiliations in their history as they fell to a Challenge Cup loss at home to Championship strugglers Swinton.
There was speculation that the defeat would cost Stone his job but the Australian remains in charge and is able to welcome back string-puller Danny Brough and top tryscorer Jermaine McGillvary after they missed the Swinton debacle.
However, the Giants are still missing half a dozen first-teamers as they bid to cause a 6-1 upset and reverse form from last month's 28-12 home loss to Leeds.
Ukuma Ta'ai, Leroy Cudjoe and Lee Gaskell are all missing which makes the decision to sell Ryan Brierley to Toronto Wolfpack all the more perplexing.
Rhinos boss Brian McDermott had the luxury of resting many of his big names for the Cup tie against Doncaster and the returnees include hooker Matt Parcell, who is worth backing at 7-4 to add to his try tally tonight.
One of the Australian's seven tries came at Huddersfield and he's now notched in six of his last seven appearances.
He can be backed at 16-1 to open the try scoring.
Bookmakers ask Leeds to concede a handicap of between 16 and 18 points and that is a poser for punters.
The Rhinos needed two tries in the final seven minutes to record a 20-point win over cellar-dwellers Widnes in their last league game and Huddersfield have produced some battling performances on the road against some of Super League's big hitters.
They drew at Wigan and St Helens and would have secured another share of the spoils at Warrington a fortnight ago if Danny Brough had converted Jermaine McGillvary's last-minute try.
It's logical to expect a reaction from the players after the abject display against Swinton, so the visitors with a buffer of three converted tries are the pick.
The Rhinos haven't beaten Huddersfield at home by more than that margin since 2008 and the last two meetings have produced Leeds wins by four points.
Another home win by an unconverted try is a 20-1 chance with Paddy Power.
2pts Evs general
M Parcell to score a try
1pt 7-4 Betfred