Local bragging rights at stake on Thursday night Rugby as Widnes make the short trip to Warrington.
Nothing much at stake in terms of league placings for either side as both are certain to play in the middle 8 when it starts in a fortnight.
Widnes need a win to guarantee they don’t finish bottom but no real advantage in the middle 8 from 11th or 12th. Warrington are guaranteed 9th spot so will have an extra home game in the Relegation shoot out.
Both sides have players back and name strong looking squads as they look to put down a marker for their massive clash in the 8’s in August or September. Gidley though is out for the Wolves.
Wire have hit form just too late in the season to reach the top 8, they have now won their last 2 games, which included an impressive win at Wigan last week.
The Vikings are in dire form and have lost their last 5 games, they have though struggled with injuries and are just starting to get players back.
The Vikings did put up a good show at the HJ in the cup earlier in the season but with nothing really at stake this is a hard game to call.
The hosts are very short to win the game at 1/12 given their recent trials but they did put bottom side Leigh to the sword last time out at home.
Widnes have won here at big odds in the past and some may be tempted by the 13/2 for an away win, you have to think though that Tony Smith will want his side to keep up the momentum.
Both sides have next week off so won’t have to rest anybody but I’m not a lover of dead rubbers.
The value is probably on Widnes getting an 18 point start on the handicap with Warrington winning this by around 11-15 points.
Super League sponsors Betfred make Widnes 11/8 getting a shorter 14 point start on the handicap and that looks OK to me. Derby games between these 2 tend to be closer than the odds suggest at times.
Lineham is a worthy 6/1 favourite to score the 1st try, Ben Currie could be an alternative at 12/1 if he starts.
Corey Thompson is the best Vikings bet at around 14/1.
Benjamin Julien scored a try in the win at Wigan last week and he is great value at 3/1 to go over again today.
No coincidence that Warringtons comeback against Wigan coincided with the return of Ben Currie and he is my pick at 9/1 for man of the match.
A couple of tries here could just swing it his way and he could yet make a late bid to get into England’s world cup squad.
No value in backing Joe Mellor at 12/1 for man of the match if you can back the Vikings to win the game at 13/2, he is though the likeliest contender for the visitors, Stefan Marsh would be an alternative at 33/1 but you’re better just backing the Vikings to win at 13/2 than look for a man of the match.
Leeds travel to Wigan tomorrow as always please gamble responsibly.