In one of the few games left in the Super League this weekend, it’s third vs fourth as the ever-promising Widnes take on the Wigan Warriors, who will be looking to bounce back from their defeat against Steve Price’s Warrington Wolves.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Wigan Warriors looked deflated in their Friday night clash against the Wolves, after returning from their trip in Australia. Their attack was poor and eventually their defence was broken by both Tom Lineham and Ryan Atkins. This fixture, if agreed to go ahead, will be their first in front of a home crowd at the DW in 2018.
Widnes Vikings claimed the two points in round three against an-injury struck Leeds Rhinos after an impressive 23-6 victory at the Halton Stadium. Centre Krisnan Inu crossed twice in a man-of-the-match performance, whilst young Danny Walker also influenced the side crossing over the whitewash. They now sit in a comfortable third place in the Super League table with two wins from four.
Romain Navarrete keeps his place in the squad after some dominating displays in Australia, whilst centre Dan Sarginson misses out on the 19-man squad for the second consecutive week due to injury. Oliver Gildart the only named centre, which will likely see second-rower John Bateman placed on the outside, where he saw his England duties. Joe Burgess replaces young Craig Mullen in the 19-man squad.
Papua New Guinea star and already-fan favourite Wellington Albert keeps his spot in the 19-man squad, whilst second-rower Chris Houston will serve his last game ban. Hooker Danny Walker will also look to continue his form after being named in the squad. Greg Burke, Alex Gerrard and Charly Runciman come in for James Chapelhow, Chris Dean and Stanton Albert.
Wigan Warriors will run out in front of their home fans for the first time this campaign, and will be looking to spice things up in attack after their less-than-satisfying display against the Warrington Wolves last Friday night at the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Their long journey from the other side of the world may have influenced their performance, but they have no excuses this week as Shaun Wane looks to continue with the concept of swapping Sam Tomkins and Morgan Escare at the back, with both players named in the 19-man squad.
For the away side, this could be a real opportunity to prove pundits wrong and show that they are a team capable of making the Super 8s this season after being doubted by the many. Former Catalans Dragons man Krisnan Inu has certainly been an influence in the side in the opening four games of the year, whilst the new partnership of Joe Mellor and Tom Gilmore will again find their best to put points on the scoreboard.
Wigan were successful in this fixture in 2017, but so early on in the season can mean this is anybody’s game, especially with the form of Denis Betts’ side.
Wigan have won just two of their last six, whilst Widnes have won their last four.
Wigan: John Bateman, Joe Burgess, Tony Clubb, Tom Davies, Morgan Escaré, Liam Farrell, Ben Flower, Oliver Gildart, Willie Isa, Tommy Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Romain Navarrete, Sean O’Loughlin, Sam Powell, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Joel Tomkins, Sam Tomkins, George Williams.
Widnes: Greg Burke, Hep Cahill, Ed Chamberlain, Ted Chapelhow, Danny Craven, Alex Gerrard, Tom Gilmore, Rhys Hanbury, Aaron Heremaia, Krisnan Inu, MacGraff Leuluai, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Tom Olbison, Charly Runciman, Danny Walker, Wellington Albert, Matt Whitley, Sam Wilde.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Venue: DW Stadium
Referee: Robert Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?