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Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Saints may struggle to repeat their Magic display

Warriors the value with four-point start

Wigan celebrate their Good Friday success over St Helens
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Super League
Sky Sports 1, 8pm Thursday

Ever since a feisty Good Friday derby at the DW Stadium, St Helens have been itching for another crack at bitter rivals Wigan and they have not had to wait too long for their chance.

Last month, Saints had to play all but the first 13 minutes with 12 men after Kyle Amor was contentiously sent off for a high tackle and in the circumstances a 29-18 defeat was no disgrace.

Bookmakers make St Helens 8-11 to reverse that result at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

Those odds are shorter than would have been anticipated before Saints’ remarkable 45-0 rout of Hull at the Magic Weekend in new coach Justin Holbrook’s first game at the helm.

Understandably, the Australian has kept faith with the players who produced that outstanding display but it could be that the layers have overreacted to that performance.

Prior to that against-the-odds success in Newcastle, St Helens had shipped 93 points in consecutive hammerings at Castleford and Warrington.

Wigan needed a last-gasp Joe Burgess try to snatch a draw against the Wolves at Magic. The Warriors' previous two Super League outings ended in defeat to Salford and Cas.

However, those results are slightly misleading as coach Shaun Wane was having to deal with a lengthy casualty list which is beginning to show signs of easing with Sean O’Loughlin and George Williams both making their returns last weekend.

Scrum-half Thomas Leuluai should make his comeback from a broken jaw and hooker Sam Powell is also expected to return.

Sky Bet are prepared to offer the Warriors a four-point start on the handicap and that looks well worth taking.

Good Friday’s total tally of 47 points was unusually high for this derby dust-up. The previous eight clashes averaged less than 32 so a bet on the unders can be considered once prices become available, while St Helens winger Regan Grace could attract interest in the tryscorer markets.

The Welsh flyer announced himself in Super League with a brilliant try in the Easter meeting and bagged a brace at the Magic Weekend. He is 10-1 to notch the opener and evens to touch down at any time.

Wigan +4
3pts 10-11 Sky Bet

Scrum-half Thomas Leuluai should make his comeback from a broken jaw and hooker Sam Powell is also expected to return
E.W. Terms
Sky bet