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PREVIEW: Widnes and Warrington Clash in Top of the Table Derby

Warrington host Widnes in the local derby on Friday afternoon, in what is being billed as one of the biggest derbies between the two sides in recent years.

Warrington, this year’s favourites for the title, play a Widnes side that has smashed all expectations of them so far this season, and currently lead the way at the top of the table.

Denis Betts’ men have shone in their first seven games thanks to stars such as Kevin Brown and Corey Thompson, both of which have put in magnificent individual performances.

But Betts has surprised many fans with his squad announcement – half-back Brown does not feature, nor does centre Charly Runciman, who scored a try to put his side in the lead against Wigan last Thursday.

Warrington have named a strong outfit as they look to continue their unbeaten start to the campaign. The half-back partnership of Chris Sandow and Kurt Gidley, arguably the mastermind of Warrington’s performances in this campaign, as well as the powerhouse of the Wolves pack, Ashton Sims and Ben Currie, are all included by coach Tony Smith.

In the last meeting between these two sides, Warrington snatched the victory in the dying seconds as former winger Joel Monaghan crashed over the whitewash with twelve seconds left on the clock. In the last Easter meeting, it was Widnes who took the spoils at the Select Security Stadium, defeating their old rivals 30-10.

In the second part of the Easter weekend, both sides are involved in yet more action on Easter Monday – Warrington take a trip to the KC Lightstream Stadium to face Hull FC, while Widnes host St Helens.

Warrington Wolves 19-man squad

Atkins, Clarke, Cox, Currie, Evans, Gidley, Hill, Hughes, Julien, G King, Lineham, Penny, Philbin, Ratchford, Russell, Sandow, Sims, Westerman, Westwood

Widnes Vikings 19-man squad

Ah Van, Brooks, Chamberlain, Dean, Dudson, Gerrard, Gilmore, Hanbury, Heremaia, Houston, Leuluai, Manuokafoa, Marsh, Mellor, O’Carroll, Sa, Thompson, White, Whitley

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