It’s that time of the week again when predictions come in thick and fast, but just how will round 11 shape up?
Warrington v Leigh
The Wolves continued their impressive league form last week, beating champions St Helens 6-2 in a cagey affair to make it four wins in a row. The Centurions still remain without a victory in 2021 with 12 straight defeats, the most recent being a 64-22 thrashing at home against Hull FC.
There are several changes for Warrington, with Stefan Ratchford, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Ben Currie and Joe Philbin selected for England, while Toby King has picked up a knee injury. In their place, Riley Dean and Ellis Robson are recalled from loan spells, while youngsters Jacob Gannon, Eribe Doro, Morgan Burgess and Tom Whitehead are also included. Leigh name just 18 players, with Nathan Peats expected to feature for the Combined Nations All-Stars on Friday and Jamie Ellis joining York on loan. Brendan Elliot and Adam Sidlow also drop out, while Jordan Thompson is back in contention.
Warrington may have a few men out, but they look far too strong for a beleaguered Leigh side still winless.
Warrington by 30
Castleford v Catalans
The Tigers come into the game having had an eight-day break, with their last outing being an 18-12 win over local rivals Wakefield last Wednesday. The Dragons, meanwhile, have been out of action for a couple of weeks after their home clash against Leeds was postponed due to positive COVID-19 tests in the Rhinos’ camp. It will be the first time this season that Catalans enter a game as Super League leaders, having moved above Wigan and St Helens after winning their last five league matches.
There’s five changes for Castleford, with England representative Paul McShane dropping out alongside Peter Mata’utia, Suaia Matagi and Gareth O’Brien (leg). In their place, Adam Milner and James Clare return, while young trio Lewis Bienek, Sam Hall and Brad Graham are called up. Catalans make four changes, with Sam Tomkins and Tom Davies called up by England and Michael McIlorum and Benjamin Garcia also dropping out. On the plus side, Gil Dudson, Matt Whitley and Alrix Da Costa are back from injury, while young outside back Romain Franco is included for the first time.
Catalans look in a hungry mood in 2021 and, with the absence of Paul McShane, Castleford may just be overpowered.
Catalans by 12
Wakefield v Wigan
Trinity have had a frustrating couple of weeks, having gone three games unbeaten before losses to Warrington and Castleford. The Warriors have also tasted defeat in their last two matches, going down 48-0 away at Catalans before being edged out by Hull KR last week.
Trinity name a 20-man squad, with Innes Senior and Ryan Hampshire returning. Bill Tupou (knee) and Kelepi Tanginoa drop out, while Reece Lyne is set to play for England against the Combined Nations All-Stars on Friday. Joe Westerman is also in Shaun Wane’s squad but has kept his place for Wakefield. The Warriors are only able to name 18 players, with Liam Farrell, John Bateman and Jackson Hastings taking part in Friday’s All-Stars game, while Brad Singleton has been suspended for two games. In their places, James McDonnell is back in contention , while hooker Brad O’Neill is recalled from an impressive loan spell at Widnes.
With the important absentees in Wigan’s line-up, Wakefield could well spring a shock here.
Wakefield by 6
Hull FC v Huddersfield
The Black and Whites gave everyone a glimpse of their devastating best last week, demolishing Leigh 64-22 to earn their third win from their last four Super League games. The Giants returned to action last week after a two-week break for COVID-related reasons, losing 9-8 in a cagey tie against Salford which left them ninth in the table.
FC are forced to make three changes, with Jake Connor, Chris Satae and Andre Savelio called up by the Combined Nations All-Stars to face England. In their place, Joe Cator and Cameron Scott return from respective calf and shoulder injuries, while Jack Logan is named after joining on a short-term loan from Batley. Huddersfield are only able to name 13 players initially, with further additions set to be made to the squad before Friday. Jermaine McGillvary, Ricky Leutele, Luke Yates, Aidan Sezer and Kenny Edwards are set to be involved in Friday’s All-Stars game, while Adam O’Brien, Michael Lawrence, Jack Cogger and Joe Wardle are also unavailable. The only addition from last week is prop James Gavet.
Hull should be far too strong for a luckless Huddersfield.
Hull by 20
Salford v Leeds
Neither side have enjoyed fruitful seasons as of yet, with Salford on two wins and Leeds just three. The Rhinos also haven’t played for three weeks following the postponement of their last two games due to Covid protocols. But, the West Yorkshire side should still have too much for the Red Devils.
Leeds by 14