MATCH PREVIEW | Wigan Warriors vs Warrington Wolves

Adrian Lam’s revived Wigan side welcome Cup finalists Warrington to the DW Stadium for this Round 26 clash. Here is everything you need to know…

TEAM FORM GUIDE

Wigan Warriors

Wigan have been the inform team of the League since these two-last met back in May, only losing once in nine league games. Although they currently sit fourth, they are level on points with Warrington, and can leapfrog their rivals with a win. Last time out they ran out comfortable 36-18 winners against Hull KR. Can they continue their impressive form and move to second just at the right time, or will the Wire get a clean sweep on victories in 2019?

Warrington Wolves

The Wire are currently in a form slump, having gone from ten points clear of Wigan to being level in nine league rounds. In that time only picking up five wins in their last 11. Currently on a four league game losing streak, that included a 12-30 defeat to their cup final opponents St Helens last week. Can they find that all important win, or will they go to Wembley with the odds firmly stacked against them?

SQUAD NEWS

Wigan Warriors

Adrian Lam has made one change to his side following last week’s win. With Ben Flower dropping out due to a knee injury and Chris Hankinson returning. However, Joe Burgess could be a doubt due to a pectoral injury.

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Wigan Warriors 19-man squad: Burgess, Byrne, Clubb, Farrell, French, Gildart, Greenwood, Hankinson, Hardaker, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Navarrete, Partington, Powell, Sammut, Sarginson, Smithies, Williams

Warrington Wolves

Steve Price has recalled six players to his side following last week’s defeat. Coming back into the fold are, Daryl and Jason Clark, Mike Cooper, Dec Patton, and Tom Lineham, who replace Josh Thewlis, Luis Johnson, Riely Dean, Danny Walker, Luther Burrell and Pat Moran.

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Warrington Wolves 19-man squad: Akauola, D Clark, J Clark, Cooper, Currie, Davis, Goodwin, Hill, King, Lineham, Livett, Mamo, Murdoch-Masila, Patton, Philbin, Ratchford, Smith, Tasi, Westwood

HEAD TO HEAD

The form in the last five between these two goes against the current form book. Warrington have won three out of the last five meetings, whilst Wigan have won two, however, it has been ten months since the Cherry and Whites beat the Primrose and Blue in last season’s Grand Final. The last time these two met was at Magic Weekend, when the Wire ran out 14-26 winners.

The last five results between these two Super League titans, has seen Wigan win 26-6 and 12-4 in the Grand Final, whilst Warrington win 26-24, 25-12 and the result mentioned above. But Warrington haven’t won at the DW since 2017, something that Steve Prices men will be hoping they can change, with the help of former Warrior Matty Smith.

KEY BATTLE

George Williams (Wigan Warriors) v Matty Smith (Warrington Wolves)

The battle of the half backs will be the one to watch in this clash. In the home sides corner is England international George Williams. A constant in the Wigan side this season, playing in all 25 matches for his side. He has scored 12 tries, and assisted a further 19, including a try and assist combo last time out. After securing a dream move down under last month, the Wigan native will be looking to end his current stint at his hometown club with a possible visit to the Theatre of Dreams in just under two months’ time. He is a lethal play maker with the ball and like his opposite number can exploit any weakness in any opposition. Can the 25-year-old continue his good form in this one.

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Whilst for the Wire is a familiar face to Wigan fans in Matty Smith. After joining the Wire on loan last week, he has faced one of his old clubs last week in St Helens and faces the club he enjoys success in Wigan. Although not having much game time in the last few years, the 32-year-old still can exploit any weakness in opponents. With his general like persona, he guides his side all over the park, and is someone to constantly watch in any game. The former DW native goes from being a Wigan legend to an enemy on Friday night.

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THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: 16 August 2019
Venue: DW Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45
Referee: B Thaler

WHO WILL WIN?

I feel that Warrington will rip the form book up and snatch this one. Although they are missing several key players, including Blake Austin, Josh Charnley and Jack Hughes, I feel that it will be the former Wigan man, Matty Smith who will provide the knockout blow and become a hero for Warrington. A confidence booster that could set them up for the rest of the season possibly. Wire to win by one.

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