In one of four Friday night games this week, Super League Champions Wigan Warriors play host to Challenge Cup holders Hull FC at the DW Stadium.
The home side came through a difficult game against Huddersfield last Sunday with a hard-earned 16-all draw, whilst the visitors brushed aside struggling Widnes 32-12.
Hull will need no extra motivation for the game, with the Warriors defeating them in the qualifying semi-final for the Grand Final last year, and it will be seen whether last year’s Challenge Cup winners can avenge this defeat and end Wigan’s undefeated start to the season.
With both sides only dropping three points between them so far this season, Friday’s match up looks to be a wide-open contest between two in-form teams. Wigan’s winning start was ended by Huddersfield last weekend, while Hull were defeated by the Catalans Dragons in round two.
Wigan make three changes to their squad, with both Jack Wells and captain Sean O’Loughlin picking up injuries against the Giants, and forward Liam Farrell also missing. Their places are taken by academy graduates Nick Gregson, Josh Ganson and Callum Field.
Hull FC make only one change to their squad for the game, with Carlos Tuimavave carrying an ankle problem sustained in the win over Widnes. He is replaced by youngster Brad Fash. Fetuli Talanoa remains absent for a second week through concussion, alongside Liam Watts, who signed a contract extension last week.
The visitors will fancy their chances against a depleted Warriors team, however there remains some quality players in the squad who can cause problems for the Hull defence. Despite this, Hull will go into the game slight favourites for the win as they aim to continue their good start to the season.
Wigan Squad: Joe Bretherton, Tony Clubb, Tom Davies, Morgan Escaré, Callum Field, Ben Flower, Liam Forsyth, Josh Ganson, Anthony Gelling, Nick Gregson, Willie Isa, Thomas Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Romain Navarrete, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sam Powell, Taulima Tautai, Joel Tomkins, George Williams.
Hull FC Squad: Jamie Shaul, Mahe Fonua, Josh Griffin, Albert Kelly, Marc Sneyd, Scott Taylor, Danny Houghton, Mark Minichiello, Gareth Ellis, Jake Connor, Chris Green, Jordan Thompson, Danny Washbrook, Steve Michaels, Sika Manu, Josh Bowden, Jack Downs, Brad Fash, Masi Matongo.