Fifth host fourth this week as two teams inside the play-off spot who have struggled recently do battle.
Yes Catalans have won two of the last four but have struggled for personnel and subsequent rhythm and at times have failed to look like a play-off side at times though they did show great character last week against Wakefield. They need to rediscover what made them a winning machine in 2021 in time for the play-offs and that process begins here.
As for the Tigers, their play-off spot is now in peril after defeats in the last two. A win here would certainly be priceless.
Castleford have lost Australia bound Cheyse Blair to a head knock this week as Liam Watts again misses out through suspension.
Meanwhile, Catalans have some bodies back after being depleted in recent weeks. Sam Tomkins is a hopeful as Dylan Napa, Joe Chan and Matthieu Laguerre are back in the squad. Tiaki Chan misses out with a ban as Fouad Yaha also drops out after a hat-trick last week.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Greg Eden vs Arthur Mourgue: Two men who have returned to the fullback role recently will battle it out for attacking supremacy at the jungle. Both are lightning quick and rather than being a link to the rest of the attacking chain like some fullbacks they’ll be the mace on the end of the chain causing havoc in defences as they tear through. Of course, Mourgue will be a weapon no matter where he’s used though the fullback spot may be his depending on Sam Tomkins’ fitness.
Derrell Olpherts vs Tom Davies: A pair of underrated wingers will join their fast fullbacks in hoping to be attacking weapons come Friday night. The pair get through immense work as well as finish off tries and will be key to the general grind of the game.
Danny Richardson vs Josh Drinkwater: Richardson’s future is now set in stone and he deserves it too given his form. He’ll continue to be key to their play-off push as he looks to guide the Cas attack. He’ll be up against possibly the best attacking kicker in the game in Drinkwater however. An interesting battle for sure.
Where the game will be won and lost:
Two physical sides, the losses Catalans have suffered in the middle of the field could be their undoing though they have proven to be a real dogged opponent recently and may find a way to hang in their and snatch a close game.
Score Prediction: Castleford Tigers 14-20 Catalans Dragons