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Shepard could be geared to take his chance

Giants receiver can keep Cowboys on their toes

New York Giants receiver Sterling Shepard
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Live on Sky Sports Action, 1.30am Sunday night

Dallas and the New York Giants are expected by many to embark upon a pulsating clash for the NFC East title and the build-up to their first-week showdown has been all about two players.

Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott is able to play as his lawyers and the league continue a legal dispute following the imposition of a six-week ban concerning a domestic-violence incident.

The league's best running back is ready to go, which is a massive boost for Dallas, while the Giants are sweating on the fitness of wide receiver Odell Beckham.

He will have a huge role to play if Ben McAdoo's side are to mount a playoff push and quarterback Eli Manning will be hugely disappointed if number 13 doesn't suit up.

Manning has claimed two Super Bowls during his time in the Big Apple but many observers are beginning to think he is not the force he was after a disappointing campaign last term.

However, despite Beckham's injury and a running game that has been poor for a few seasons, he still has outlets.

While Brandon Marshall, who joined from the New York Jets over the summer, would receive more attention if Beckham doesn't make it, don't rule out sophomore Sterling Shepard making a big impression.

Shepard received 65 passes last season and scored eight touchdowns, just two fewer than his more high-profile receiving partner, and he can have a role to play even if Beckham does feature.

He has recovered from an ankle injury that affected him early in pre-season and should be raring to take his chance. 

Recommendation
S Shepard to score a touchdown
1pt 11-4 Sky Bet


Team news
Dallas
Running back Ezekiel Elliott is allowed to play while legal rows about a six-game personal conduct suspension rumble on. Cornerback Jourdan Lewis is questionable with a hamstring injury.

New York Giants
Star wide receiver Odell Beckham is struggling with an ankle injury, while linebacker Keenan Robinson is out with concussion.

Key stat
The points total has gone over in seven of the Giants' last eight visits to Dallas.


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Shepard received 65 passes last season and scored eight touchdowns, just two fewer than his more high-profile receiving partner
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