Super League is approaching it’s climax and with that every game becomes even more important, not least Friday night’s clash between Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils with the home side having a chance to close in on top spot and pull away from St Helens, whilst Salford could solidify their playoff position with a win.
The Red Devils visit the DW on the back of two wins, those two wins snapping a six game losing streak in the league, and lifting them back to sixth by the smallest of margins.
Paul Rowley’s side have the same number of points as fifth placed Warrington and seventh placed Hull KR but they have the same points difference as Rovers, sitting in sixth by virtue of a tiebreak formula.
As for Wigan their impressive win over Catalans Dragons in Perpignan on Saturday showed their strength and in particular the form of their wingers with Abbas Miski picking up another hattrick in the game.
That takes the Lebanese international to ten tries in four games and he’ll look to help Wigan pick up their third win over the Red Devils this season on Friday night.
Wigan had initially expected to be without forward Kaide Ellis who was hit with a one game ban by the Match Review Panel, but on appeal the Warriors were successful with the charge being downgraded and just a fine being handed down.
That means Ellis will be eligible to play on Friday night and Matt Peet has selected the forward in his side as part of a team with just one change from victory in France.
As for Salford their return to winning form has coincided with their spine being fully healthy and the elite play of full back Ryan Brierley, the Scotland international picking up a brace last week against Wakefield Trinity.
The spine of Brierley, Croft, Sneyd and Ackers will all feature on Friday night despite Sneyd being charged by the Match Review Panel, the playmaker being hit with a Grade B charge for striking but again just being fined.
One of the key stories in this match will be how prop Brad Singleton will fair against their former sides, the first meeting since being involved in a swap deal earlier this season.
But the man who joined Wigan as his replacement won’t feature.
Peet has made one change to his 21-man squad for Friday, as Tyler Dupree is replaced by Harvey Makin.
Dupree suffered a head knock last week. But in good news, Brad O’Neill is set to play despite an injury against Catalans Dragons.
Either way, the loss of Dupree ahead of a crucial fixture at the top of the table is a significant blow.
📋 𝙎𝙌𝙐𝘼𝘿 𝙉𝙀𝙒𝙎
— Wigan Warriors 🍒⚪️ (@WiganWarriorsRL) August 30, 2023