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Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Freefalling Wigan not certain to see off Leigh

Warriors have not won in six

Wigan's Liam Marshall
1 of 1

Betfred Super League
Sky Sports 1, 8pm Thursday

Champions Wigan started the Betfred Super League season as favourites to retain their crown.

Very few doubted the Warriors' ability to make it back-to-back wins at Old Trafford but after a dismal run of results, some are wondering whether Shaun Wane's side will even make the top-four playoffs.

A run of six games without a win has seen Wigan slip to sixth in the table and if they lose at lowly Leigh, the possibility of the Cherry and Whites finishing in the bottom four will have to be considered.

Injuries have played a significant part in Wigan's slide but results have not improved despite the shortening of the casualty list.

Discipline was poor in last weekend's 39-26 loss at Hull and in their previous outing the Warriors squandered a 20-0 lead at home to Wakefield, conceding 36 unanswered points in the process.

The problem for punters is that Leigh's recent form is even worse.

The rock-bottom Centurions have won just one of their last 12 matches in all competitions although they did push Leeds hard at Headingley last time out before going down 22-14.

This showdown against their neighbours is Leigh's biggest match of the year and coach Neil Jukes has made its importance quite clear to his players.

He won't have had to stress that point to ex-Warriors stars Ryan Hampshire and Harrison Hansen - the latter returns to the side along with Curtis Naughton.

Wigan have lost three key forwards from the team who turned out at Hull. Captain Sean O'Loughlin has a hamstring problem, Sam Powell is suffering from concussion and Liam Farrell is serving a one-match ban for foul and abusive language.

Despite that, the visitors are 1-2 to compete the league double after grinding out a 20-0 victory at the DW Stadium in March.

The Centurions are 11-5 and receive an eight-point start on the handicap.

Backing the hosts to stay within that buffer looks the best bet on an evening when a close contest between two out-of-sorts sides seems probable.

Warriors winger Liam Marshall made it seven tries in his last four games with a brace at Hull and is 4-5 to cross the whitewash again and 8-1 to notch the opener.

Leigh +8
2pts 10-11 Betfred, Hills

Injuries have played a significant part in Wigan's slide but results have not improved despite the shortening of the casualty list
E.W. Terms
Sky bet