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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Solid Minnesota offence can ground the Eagles

Vikings look to sail past early struggles with big win in Philly

Kirk Cousins could be the difference-maker when Minnesota visit Philadelphia
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Sky Sports Action, 9.25pm Sunday

Super Bowl champions Philadelphia and Minnesota have both struggled to live up to expectations this season, but the Vikings showed their mettle last week and can take a hefty scalp.

Minnesota gave a solid account of themselves in their 38-31 defeat to Super Bowl favourites LA Rams in the most entertaining game of the season in Week Four's Thursday night game. Quarterback Kirk Cousins accumulated 422 passing yards with receiver Adam Thielen accounting for 135 of those and a touchdown.

The Vikings' shock loss to Buffalo raised serious questions about their prospects, but that looks to have been a blip and the Vikings offence have been as ferocious as expected.

Despite a bright opening win over Atlanta, the Eagles have found it difficult to rediscover their flying form of last season and they have suffered narrow losses to Tampa Bay and Tennessee.

Their offence is yet to score more than 23 points in a game which is worrying considering Minnesota's defensive strength, with problems at running back proving a real concern.

Philadelphia can be expected to come good at some stage but they look vulnerable to a home defeat if Cousins, Thielen and Stefon Diggs can replicate their performance against the Rams.

Recommendation
Minnesota
1pt 6-4 Coral

The lowdown
Venue 
Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Surface 
Artificially enhanced grass
Weather 
Cloudy, 26C
Vegas handicap 
Minnesota +3
Vegas points line 
45.5

Team news
Minnesota
The Vikings will be without cornerbacks Trae Waynes (concussion) and Marcus Sherels (ribs) and defensive ends Everson Griffen (illness) and Tashawn Bower (ankle). RB Dalvin Cook (hamstring) is rated questionable.

Philadelphia
Defensive end Derek Barnett (shoulder) and running back Darren Sproles (hamstring) have been ruled out. Running back Corey Clement (quad) and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata (calf) are questionable.

Key stat
Adam Thielen has had over 100 receiving yards in every game this season.


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Their offence is yet to score more than 23 points in a game which is worrying considering Minnesota's defensive strength
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