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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Warrington can make life tough for Wigan

Warriors in for a fight with Wolves

Warrington's Josh Charnley scores a try
1 of 1

Wigan v Warrington
Sky Sports Arena, 7.45pm Friday

If you think you’ve seen Wigan play Warrington before this season, the chances are you’re right. 

They’ve already clashed four times in 2018 and Friday's fifth meeting may not be the last as the clubs are likely to face off in the playoffs.

It's two wins apiece in the series so far with the Wolves victorious at the Halliwell Jones Stadium in both Betfred Super League and Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, while the Warriors prevailed at May's Magic Weekend in Newcastle and in the most recent meeting at the DW Stadium in July.

The cumulative points tally stands at 61-61 which points to a close contest but bookmakers make Wigan long odds-on to prevail after Wolves coach Steve Price revealed half-backs Kevin Brown and Tyrone Roberts will sit out the game along with Chris Hill and the suspended Mike Cooper. 

That news sent the handicap soaring into double figures but the visitors have perfectly good deputies in the halves in Dec Patton and Harvey Livett while Wigan are missing injured captain Sean O’Loughlin and banned Joe Greenwood, who has been their star man over the past fortnight. 

Warrington can be backed in receipt of more than two converted tries which makes plenty of appeal. 

Wobbling table-toppers St Helens needed a late Morgan Knowles try against Catalans to avoid a fourth loss in five starts last weekend but should have little trouble in disposing of Hull, who are on an eight-game losing streak. 

The Black & Whites' injury crisis is worsening by the week with Danny Houghton, Carlos Tuimavave and Jamie Shaul now added to the casualty list and Saints could make a 20-point handicap look woefully inadequate even without all-action hooker James Roby.

Wakefield should be capable of covering a 7.5-point handicap at home to Catalans.

Neither side can make the semi-finals but Trinity have remained competitive in the Super 8s while the Dragons' only wins in their last seven outings were the Challenge Cup semi-final and final. 

Samisoni Langi and Julien Bousquet are both ruled out for the French side and Wakey can avenge July’s home loss to the Dragons.

The top two in the Qualifiers, Salford and Leeds, meet at Headingley. The Red Devils would have merited support with an eight-point start but for the suspension of star man Jackson Hastings, so a watching brief is advised. 

Recommendations 
Warrington +12.5
3pts 4-5 Sky Bet
St Helens -18 
2pts 10-11 Betfair, Paddy Power
Wakefield -7.5
2pts 4-5 Coral, Ladbrokes 


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Warrington can be backed in receipt of more than two converted tries which makes plenty of appeal
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