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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Packers have to put on a show against arch-rivals Minnesota

Green Bay capable of playing their part against Vikings

Green Bay quarterback Brett Hundley
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Sky Sports Action, 1.30am Saturday night

Broadcasters will have hoped for a cracking Christmas showdown between two arch-rivals, but it has not worked out that way.

The Packers and Vikings were expected to go at it hammer and tongs for the NFC North title, but Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone in the reverse fixture in Week Six and that was pretty much that.

Rodgers did return last week against Carolina when there was still a chance the Packers could make the post-season but defeat led to him heading back to injured reserve list now a playoff place is beyond them. With Brett Hundley back in charge of the Packers offence, the Vikings are nine-point favourites.

With the division title in the bag, Minnesota's priority will be to gain the first seeding in the NFC, which may not be beyond them as their chief rivals Philadelphia have suffered their own quarterback injury heartache with Carson Wentz ruled out for the season.

They have won nine of their last ten games and look strong on both sides of the ball, providing realistic hope that they can become the first team to win the Super Bowl at their home stadium.

The Vikings have one of the strongest defences in the league and freezing cold conditions make it tough for the offences but there is a chance the 40.5-point line can be eclipsed.

It will be a tough test for Hundley, but he did guide them to a pair of victories before stepping aside for Rodgers to play against Carolina.

The last thing the Green Bay public will want to see is their team being blown away by one of their biggest rivals and the home team should at least put up a show despite clearly being the weaker outfit without their talismanic leader and wide receiver Davante Adams.

Over 40.5 points
2pts 10-11 general

The lowdown
Venue Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Surface Grass
Weather Freezing, -7C
Vegas handicap Minnesota -9
Vegas points line 40.5

Team news
Offensive tackle Riley Reiff is rated questionable with an ankle injury, while cornerback Mackensie Alezander and safety Andrew Sendejo are afforded the same status. Cornerback Tramaine Brock is out.

Green Bay
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) has been placed on injured reserve. Corner Demetri Goodson is out with a hamstring injury while wide receiver Davante Adams (concussion) is also sidelined. Clay Matthews is questionable with a hamstring injury while fellow linebacker Nick Perry is doubtful with an ankle problem.

Key stat
Minnesota have covered the handicap in eight of their last nine games.

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The Vikings have one of the strongest defences in the league but there is a chance the 40.5-point line can be eclipsed
E.W. Terms
Sky bet