Widnes host Wakefield on Friday looking to end a torrid run of five successive league defeats, in a week where the Vikings have fresh injury concerns, coming up against the plucky Wildcats.
Denis Betts’ men are without captain Kevin Brown and centre Chris Bridge for Friday’s game, as they face a Wakefield side who have won four out of their last five in the league after Chris Chester’s appointment.
Chester’s side are now also fighting in the top eight thanks to Salford’s six point deduction for breaching the salary cap earlier this week, so there will be renewed confidence within the away side’s camp.
Speaking of confidence, Widnes have been low on it in the last five games, not picking up a single point since the victory away to Wigan before Easter. But they, like Wakefield, will also be buoyed by recent news. Head coach Denis Betts has signed a contract extension with the club until the end of the 2019 season. In addition, Betts will also be England head coach Wayne Bennett’s assistant on the international front.
In the reverse fixture in round one, Widnes took away the spoils at Belle Vue, with 24-16 victory and two tries from debutant Setaimata Sa securing Widnes both points.
A win for the Vikings would see them move onto 14 points, level with St Helens, who play on Sunday. A Wakefield victory would take them five points clear of the bottom four, before Hull KR in ninth play on Saturday – the Wildcats would also be level with Widnes if they win on Friday.
Widnes Vikings 19-man squad
Ah Van, Cahill, Chamberlain, Dean, Dudson, Hanbury, Heremaia, Houston, Johnstone, Leuluai, Manuokafoa, Marsh, Mellor, O’Carroll, Runciman, Sa, Thompson, White, Whitley
Wakefield Wildcats 19-man squad
Annakin, Arona, Ashurst, England, Finn, Gibson, Hall, Howarth, Johnstone, Jones-Bishop, Jowitt, Kirmond, Miller, Moore, Owen, Scruton, Simon, Sio, Tupou