It’s that time of the week again when every pundit and fan attempts to predict how the weekend’s fixtures will play out.
Leeds v Wakefield
It’s the only fixture that takes place before Monday and it’s a local derby. Richard Agar is set to welcome back Luke Gale from a fractured thumb as he replaces the injured Alex Sutcliffe. Matty Ashurst returns for Trinity after missing their last four games through injury. He is one of two changes made by Chris Chester, as Brad Walker also comes back into the fold with Bill Tupou and Sam Eseh dropping out. Neither side have fared well in 2021 so far with Leeds’ only victory coming against Trinity in round one. Wakefield have yet to win and it doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.
Leeds by 12
Castleford v Hull KR
Castleford have won four of their five Super League games to sit pretty in third and haven’t lost against KR in three games. In fact, the Tigers haven’t lost to their opponents at home since 2016, but the Robins have won two of their last three games. That has left KR in a respectable seventh after losing their opening two games. Fresh off the back of their 19-18 Challenge Cup victory over Salford, the Tigers will, however, be looking to continue their 100% win record at home in 2021. And, that should certainly be achievable.
Castleford by 18
Hull FC v Catalans
Fresh from their 20-10 victory over Wigan in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals, Hull take on Catalans for their first game at the KCOM in 2021. They had been defeated by the Warriors the week before in Super League which ended their 100% record, which means that Catalans now sit above the black-and-whites with four wins in five games. The Dragons were victorious 34-29 in the two sides’ last meeting in 2020, but Hull had won two in two before that. Home advantage could well pay off for Hull in this one, and, with Brett Hodgson steering the ship, they should have too much for a less-than perfect Catalans side.
Hull by 10
Leigh v Wigan
When these two sides met in round one, Leigh pushed Wigan all the way. Since then, however, the form of these two sides could not be more different. With no wins from their opening five Super League games, the Centurions are languishing at the bottom of the table whilst opponents Wigan sit in second with a 100% record in the league in 2021. The Warriors, however, crashed out of the Challenge Cup semi-finals last weekend and will be wanting to take out their frustrations on a depleted and low-on-morale Leigh side.
Wigan by 6
St Helens v Salford
St Helens just about scraped through to the Challenge Cup semi-finals last weekend against Huddersfield whilst Salford crashed out to a drop-goal against Castleford. However, the story is wholly different in the league with Saints remaining unbeaten all year and the Red Devils winning just once in five games. Saints have had the upper hand in recent meetings, with nine out of the last ten fixtures ending up in a Red Vee victory, but Salford look to have been clicking in the past few weeks and may even spring a surprise here – particularly if Saints go into this fixture with the wrong attitude.
Salford by 6
Warrington v Huddersfield
The final game on Monday night listed and the only one on television is Warrington at home to Huddersfield. The two sides have had differing fortunes in Super League in 2021 with the Wolves winning every game since the opening round defeat to Castleford. Huddersfield, meanwhile, have won just once with that victory coming against Leeds in their last league game. The Giants haven’t beaten Warrington since 2018, with the Wolves being victorious in their last six meetings. Though Huddersfield have improved in recent weeks, the Wolves should still be too strong.
Warrington by 12