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Wakefield can keep tabs on leaders Castleford

Table-toppers haven't been at their best recently

Matty Ashurst of Wakefield in action against Leigh
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Betfred Super League
Sky Sports 1, 8pm Thursday

For most of the summer era, derbies between Castleford and Wakefield has been regarded as a poor relation compared
with the likes of Wigan v Saints, Leeds against Bradford and the Hull dust-up.

But now, in terms of placings at least, the tussle between the Tigers and Trinity is challenging for the title of the number one neighbourly meeting in the Betfred Super League.

Cas sit eight points clear at the top of the table and Wakey, who are fifth, are just a point outside the playoff places.

Trinity are 11-4 to get the win that would put them level on points with second-placed Salford, while Daryl Powell's side are 1-3 to make it ten league wins on the trot and in the process complete a league double over their rivals.

The table-toppers won 42-24 when the sides met at The Jungle in April but Chris Chester's team triumphed 32-20 at Belle Vue in a pre-season warm up.

Both sides were far from full-strength but the result has set the tone for a series of strong home performances from Wakefield during the season proper.

They've won six of their nine matches in front of their own fans, including last Saturday’s success over Warrington, while their three defeats at the hands of Leeds, Wigan and Hull all came by single-digit margins.

That record makes backing the hosts with a ten-point start an interesting proposition, especially as Cas haven't been consistently at their brilliant best over recent weeks.

Cas hung on to beat Hull by two points a week ago and were far from foot perfect in victories over Warrington and Widnes.

The visitors are set to recall Greg Minikin and Andy Lynch after they were rested last time out, while Wakey will field the same team that defeated the Wolves minus the suspended Reece Lyne.

That means Trinity will continue to be without several injured stars including David Fifita, Jacob Miller, Tom Johnstone and captain Danny Kirmond.

It's a negative for Wakefield backers, as are recent heavy losses at Hull and at Salford in the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup quarter-final.

However, the underdogs are sure to get up for this battle against their nearest and not so dearest in front of what's sure to be a hostile home crowd.

Even if the underdogs are unable to lower Castleford's colours, they can at least ensure the league leaders face a tough test.

Wakefield +12
2pts Evs Betway

Cas hung on to beat Hull by two points a week ago and were far from foot perfect in victories over Warrington and Widnes
E.W. Terms
Sky bet