Tom Lineham can leave mark on Widnes again
In-form Warrington wing hurt Vikings twice last year
Betfred Super League
Sky Sports Action, 7.35pm Friday
After a dismal 2017, Warrington kicked off Super League XXIII optimistic about challenging for grand final glory. But a fortnight into the new season that has been replaced by a feeling of deja vu.
Under new coach Steve Price the Wolves have lost their opening two games, against Leeds and Huddersfield, and already there’s talk of a repeat of 12 months ago when Warrington failed to record a Super League win until their eighth attempt.
The winless Wolves were one of four teams without a point after two games and are 7-2 to suffer the indignity of a second successive bottom-four finish.
Taking on neighbours Widnes on their artificial pitch is far from an ideal fixture for a side looking to break their duck but that hasn’t stopped the bookmakers installing the visitors as favourites.
The prices make no appeal, particularly with marquee signing Tyrone Roberts sidelined with a knee niggle for the second week running.
The Vikings, who kicked off the season as favourites for the wooden spoon, have started well.
Denis Betts’s boys hammered Catalans 40-12 before agonisingly losing 13-12 at last year’s table-toppers Castleford.
Widnes are 13-8 to inflict more misery on the Wolves and are given a six-point start on the handicap but enthusiasm for those prices is tempered by the fact that they have lost the last nine derbies.
Warrington won 19-10 and 28-14 on their trips to Widnes last year. Both victories featured a try from winger Tom Lineham who has scored two of the three touchdowns registered by the Wolves this season.
Most bookmakers make Lineham odds on to cross the whitewash again but Betfred offer a stand-out 11-10 which looks well worth taking in a contest for which the match odds are unappealing.
T Lineham to score a try
2pts 11-10 Betfred
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