Huddersfield Giants host an in-form Wigan side as they look to maintain the two-point gap to the sides at the bottom of Super League.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
Huddersfield conceded eight tries and failed to score as they lost 38-2 at St. Helens last time out.
The Yorkshire side lost their previous match, losing 27-26 to Castleford Tigers.
They did, however, get take the two points home from the KCOM Stadium three weeks ago as they hammered Hull FC 2-55 to record their biggest away win of the season.
It couldn’t be any more different for Friday night’s visitors, Wigan, who have won their last two matches.
First they scraped passed Hull Kinston Rovers 18-19 to emerge from KCOM Craven Park victorious before beating Leeds Rhinos 14-23.
Oliver Roberts and Louis Senior have been named in Huddersfield’s squad.
Dale Ferguson also makes the cut, but Joe Wardle misses out with a hand injury.
Jermaine McGillvary also remains unavailable but could return next week.
Huddersfield Giants 19-man squad: McIntosh, Turner, Gaskell, Frawley, Clough, Leeming, Matagi, Murphy, Mellow, O’Brien, Roberts, Ferguson, Ta’ai, English, Russell, Hewitt, Ikahihifo, L. Senior, I. Senior.
Wigan make two changes to the squad that played last time out – Zak Hardaker and Joe Greenwood both return.
Adrian Lam is still, however, without Ben Flower who remains sidelined with the back injury he sustained in win against Hull KR earlier this month.
Wigan Warriors 19-man squad: Bullock, Burgess, Clubb, Escare, Farrell, Gildart, Greenwood, Hankinson, Hardaker, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarrete, O’Loughlin, Partington, Powell, Sammut, Smithies, Williams.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Giants claimed the two points when the sides met back in March – consolidating a 0-6 half-time lead to win 6-14 – with Lee Gaskell kicking three goals to add to tries from Kruise Leeming and Joe Wardle.
Morgan Escare scored for the Warriors and Zak Hardaker added the two points, but it was all in vain as the travelling Huddersfield players never looked like throwing away the win.
Kruise Leeming (Huddersfield Giants) vs Oliver Gildart (Wigan Warriors)
Leeming scored in the reverse fixture and, with fellow scorer Joe Wardle and winger Jermaine McGillvary both out injured, the responsibility of driving his teammates forwards may well rest on the hooker’s shoulders once again.
The same can often be said for Gildart too as the centre spearheaded Wigan’s revival after a shocking start to the season after a stunning 2018 campaign. But the Warriors sit just two places above Huddersfield and are still just four points off the foot of the Super League table, so Gildart’s darting runs and quick hands will be needed if Wigan want to take a giant step towards safety.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: 21st June 2019
Venue: John Smith’s Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: M. Griffiths
WHO WILL WIN?
Usually, when the home side prevails in the reverse fixture, you’d have them nailed on to win, but not tonight. Since the brilliant win at Hull, the Giants have been poor. Very poor. With in-form Wigan boasting a strong squad for the trip to the John Smith’s and key players missing for the hosts, I can only see one winner: Wigan 8-16.