Bottom side Huddersfield Giants travel to Wigan Warriors, knowing that only a win will give them a chance to move off the foot of the Super League table at the DW Stadium.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
With just one win from their four Super League games in 2019, it has been a start to forget for Wigan.
After losing out in Super League’s first-ever golden point match 22-23 at home to Hull FC and then away to London Broncos 18-16 last time out, the Warriors will be more determined than ever to get back to winning ways.
Huddersfield have started the season in the worst possible way, losing all four opening matches in the Super League.
Their attack has improved recently, however, with Jermaine McGillvary returning from injury to score in two successive matches.
Wigan welcome back winger Dom Manfredi for Friday’s match against bottom side Huddersfield Giants at the DW Stadium.
Manfredi hasn’t featured at all so far in 2019 due a long-term injury – his last match being last season’s Grand Final.
Ben Flower and Gabe Hamlin also return for Wigan, whose two-point deduction has now been suspended for 12 months after an appeal hearing on Tuesday.
Wigan Warriors 19-man squad: Bullock, Clubb, Escare, Flower, Gildart, Hamlin, Hankinson, Hardaker, Isa, Leuluai, Manfredi, Marshall, Navarrete, O’Loughlin, Paisley, Powell, Sarginson, Tautai, Williams.
Akuila Uate, Joe Wardle and Oliver Roberts are all back in Huddersfield’s 19-man squad after returning from injury.
The Giants lie at the foot of the table after four successive defeats, but a win tonight would see them move level on points with their hosts.
Huddersfield Giants 19-man squad: McIntosh, McGillvary, Turner, Uate, Gaskell, Frawley, Leeming, Matagi, Murphy, Mellow, Lawrence, O’Brien, Roberts, Ta’ai, Joe Wardle, Ikahihifo, Hewitt, Senior, Jake Wardle
HEAD TO HEAD
In the sides’ last two meetings, it’s one a piece. Wigan battered their visitors for tonight’s game in this fixture last season, winning 48-10 in a match that saw them cross over nine times.
The Giants, however, got their revenge in the reverse back in July as a Darnell McIntosh brace helped them to an impressive 20-12 victory. The victory would have been much more emphatic had Danny Brough not missed all for kicks. With him gone, though, the Giants will look to someone else to fire them to victory tonight.
Zak Hardaker vs Jermaine McGillvary
Having kicked five goals in his side’s last two matches, Hardaker is certainly finding his feet at Wigan. Add to that his ability to cross over the whitewash himself, and the Warriors most certainly have one of Super League’s most dangerous players on the books.
As for McGillvary, it seems as though if he doesn’t play well, the Giants don’t stand a chance so far in 2019.
The World Cup runner-up has scored in their last two games, however, so if he can impose his direct running style on a leaky Wigan defence, we could be in for a shock.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday 8th March
Venue: DW Stadium
Referee: Robert Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?
With both teams conceding points for fun this season, there’s no doubt it’ll be another high-scoring encounter between the two. With Wigan at home, this will give them an extra edge that the Giants may find hard to cope with. Adding the Warriors’ recent success at home to Huddersfield, I don’t see anything over than a home win.