SUPER LEAGUE MATCH PREVIEW: Widnes Vikings vs St. Helens

SQUAD NEWS

Widnes Vikings

The busy Easter schedule has taken its toll on the Vikings as Dennis Betts makes four changes to his 19-man squad.

Rhys Hanbury, Gil Dudson, Krisnan Inu and Chris Houston miss out, with Danny Craven, Alex Gerrard, Danny Walker and Wellington Albert moving into the squad.

Inu will miss the clash against the Saints with what Denis Betts has described as a ‘long-term’ injury. Photo Credit: rugbyleague.com

Widnes occupy the last spot in the top 8 of the Super League table, failing to put together consistent results.

Despite their Good Friday loss to Warrington the Vikings will be looking to make it back to back home wins after their recent victory over Salford.

Widnes Vikings 19-man squad: 2. Stefan Marsh, 4. Charly Runciman, 6. Joseph Mellor, 7. Thomas Gilmore, 10. Alex Gerrard, 14. Christopher Dean, 15. Danny Craven, 16. Thomas Olbison, 17. Samuel Wilde, 19. Greg Burke, 20. Macgraff Leuluai, 21. Jordan Johnstone, 22. Ryan Ince, 23. Danny Walker, 24. Edward Chamberlain, 26. Edward Chapelhow, 28. Bradley Walker, 30. Keanan Brand, 36. Wellington Albert.

St. Helens

Justin Holbrook faces no fresh injury concerns following his sides Good Friday derby victory over Wigan Warriors, naming an unchanged squad.

Adam Swift failed to recover from injury in time, meaning Ryan Morgan maintains his place in the squad whilst Alex Walmsley remains a long-term absentee.

Alex Walmsley looks set to miss a large portion of 2018. Photo credit: Sky Sports

Saints currently sit four points clear at the top of the table, having only one loss this season, coming against reigning champions Leeds.

The form team in the competition have also won their previous two matches against Hull KR and Wigan.

St. Helens 19-man squad: 1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 7. Matty Smith, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 11. Zeb Taia, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 15. Morgan Knowles, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Dom Peyroux, 18. Danny Richardson, 19. Regan Grace, 20. Matty Lees, 23. Ben Barba.

HEAD TO HEAD

Saints boast the better record in the league going into this clash; add to that the morale boost of their derby victory over Wigan on Good Friday and it seems they look a shoe-in for this tie.

However, the Vikings grabbed a narrow 16-14 victory in this fixture last season.

In the six previous meetings between these sides, Saints have come away with the victory on four occasions. However, with the largest winning margin in those meetings standing at 16-points, history points towards a tense derby.

Chris Houston cannot stop St Helens’ player from touching down.

With Justin Holbrook’s men showing their quality in attack this year, leading the competition in points scored, Widnes will have to be at the top of their defensive game to halt Barba and co.

KEY BATTLE- Tom Gilmore v Danny Richardson

WIth both selected in the England Knights performance squad, the battle of the scrum-half’s looks set to be an intense one.

The English youngsters have both given their sides a new lease of life this season showing their creativity.

Gilmore has six assists already this term- more than any of his Vikings team-mates- whilst Richardson has grabbed four of his own. Richardson currently leads the competition in goal kicking (39) with Gilmore has racked up 16.

Whether it be their running of the team, creating tries or their talents off the boot, whoever comes out on top in this battle could play a pivotal role in the result.

THE IMPORTANT DETAILS

Date: Monday 2nd April 2018
Venue: Halton Stadium
Kick-off: 3:05pm
Referee: Chris Kendall

WHO WILL WIN?

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