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Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Wolves unlikely to take a big bite out of the Vikings

Derby dust-up could be close

Corey Thompson (centre) could trouble the Wolves
1 of 1

Betfred Super League
Sky Sports 2, 8pm

The Betfred Super League has reached its first major landmark with the arrival of the brutal Easter double-header.

Surprisingly, tonight's derby dust-up between Widnes and Warrington is a bottom-of-the-table battle featuring two teams who have won just two league matches between them in 2017.

The bottom-of-the-pile Vikings started the season as wooden-spoon favourites but the sight of the Wolves one spot above their neighbours on points difference is a head-scratcher.

Last season's Grand Final runners-up kicked off the campaign as second favourites to go one better this time.

Tony Smith's team finally posted their first victory of Super League XXII when they overcame Leeds 25-14 last weekend, but things may have been different had Ben Westwood been sent off for a late tackle in the first minute.

The England international was sin-binned for the offence and tonight starts a four-match ban handed to him by a disciplinary review panel this week. Fellow forward Mike Cooper is sidelined through injury and playmaker Kevin Brown isn't fit to play against his former club as the Wolves seek their first away success of the season.

They're 1-4 to get it with the Vikings 100-30 to triumph in front of their own fans for the first time since last August.

Denis Betts' boys have already suffered three double-digit beatings at home this season but ran Wigan close in a 28-26 loss.

Tonight the hosts receive a dozen points on the handicap and in a match where it's impossible to be confident about either team that looks the way to go to small stakes.

There may be a better bet in the tryscorer markets though where Vikings winger Corey Thompson is 5-4 to touch down at any time.

The Australian notched for the second straight game during Widnes's dismal defeat at Wakefield last time out and also scored in the corresponding fixture against the Wolves last season.

That was one of 27 tries in 30 Super League appearances.

With Warrington having conceded to the opposition's right-winger five times in their nine matches this year, there's every chance of Thompson adding to his try tally tonight.

Widnes +12
1pt 10-11 general
C Thompson to score a try
1pt 5-4 Sky Bet

Denis Betts' boys have already suffered three double-digit beatings at home this season but did run Wigan close in a 28-26 loss
E.W. Terms
Sky bet