St Helens vs Wigan Warriors: Team news, match preview and score prediction

This fixture, like the corresponding game at the bottom of the table to kick the Magic Weekend off just hours before this one, has been spiced up by last weekend’s results.

As Wigan ploughed through Wakefield, St Helens lost to Catalans leaving just two points between the top two going into a big game at a big stadium.

Oh and did we mention it’s perhaps the biggest derby in Super League and the original derby. this could be the game of the season and will be crucial to the title race.

Team News

Tommy Makinson’s hamstring injury means he’ll miss this game and a number of weeks. However Konrad Hurrell should be fit again after illness with Will Hopoate and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook also back in the mix. Josh Simm drops out of the 21-man squad after joining Hull FC on loan.

Wigan have lost skipper Thomas Leuluai to a calf injury whilst Sam Halsall is the other player to drop out of the squad. He was also linked with a move to Hull. Morgan Smithies returns to the 21 man squad as does Cade Cust in a major boost.

Match Preview – Key Battles:

Jonny Lomax vs Harry Smith: Jonny Lomax may be the best halfback at the moment, but in years to come it could be Harry Smith who has already masterminded a major final triumph doing so in the cup final this year. The present against the future, can Smith outfox Lomax.

Alex Walmsley vs Liam Byrne: Liam Byrne has really impressed this season and established himself as a top notch starting prop. But can he limit the damage Alex Walmsley will inevitably do down the middle as the league’s best prop.

Agnatius Paasi vs Patrick Mago: Two of the league’s best impact substitutes will both come on at crucial points in the game hoping to direct the game a certain way in this huge game.

Where the game will be won and lost:

If Wigan want to win this game, they’re going to have to match the Saints pack. If they can do so, they have the pace in their team to cause Saints some real problems. If Saints get a roll on though the game will be there’s to lose so long as they take their chances. It should be a close one.

Score Prediction: St Helens 20-18 Wigan Warriors

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