Wigan look unlikely to break their Headingley hoodoo
Champs Leeds can win eight straight at home to Warriors
Betfred Super League
Sky Sports Arena, 7.45pm Friday
Leeds versus Wigan has always been one of the Betfred Super League’s marquee fixtures and over recent seasons it has been dominated by the hosts.
The Warriors have won the last five meetings on their own midden but have got no change out of the Rhinos on their last seven trips to Headingley.
Bookmakers give the home side a slight edge again with Leeds 10-11 to make it eight on the trot and Wigan 6-5 to stop the rot.
There is precious little between the great rivals on the league ladder either, with the Warriors just one point above the champions as the season approaches the halfway stage.
Both teams come into the showdown after comeback wins, although the Rhinos’ fightback from eight points down with 20 minutes left at Wakefield pales into insignificance in comparison to Wigan’s amazing victory in France.
Trailing Catalans 21-0 just after half-time, Shaun Wane’s men rattled off six tries without reply to win going away.
Wigan can’t afford to be as slow out of the traps again and fast starts have not been their strength this season. They have conceded the first points five times in nine games.
The Warriors have Morgan Escare available after illness but prop Ben Flower is out with concussion.
Leeds welcome back Adam Cuthbertson after a two-month absence with a hand injury and Joel Moon and Brett Delaney also return after missing the win at Wakey.
The Rhinos are also boosted by captain Kallum Watkins signing a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2021.
It looks like a night to be guided by the history books as well as the form books and backing the home team to win by a dozen points or fewer appeals.
Five of the Rhinos' seven straight home wins over Wigan have come by that margin and so have five of their six successes this term.
Wigan’s last triumph at Headingley came by an astonishing 50 points to eight in 2012.
Current stars Sean O’Loughlin, Thomas Leuluai and Liam Farrell were all on the scoresheet that evening and it may be worth backing Farrell to do so again at a tempting 5-1.
The England forward is in fine form having touched down three times in his last two outings.
Leeds to win by one to 12 points
2pts 11-5 188Bet
L Farrell to score a try
1pt 5-1 Betfair, Paddy Power
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