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

Some of the best game’s of the season this year have come courtesy of these two and they’ll battle it out again in what many people think is a dress rehearsal for the Grand Final.

However, there is still the small matter of figuring out everyone’s starting positions in the race to Old Trafford. This game will determine whether Wigan spend the last two games thinking about first or second place. A win will just about keep the race for top spot alive whilst defeat will leave the Warriors sweating about the chasing Giants not wanting to give up the benefits of finishing second place and earning a home semi-final.

As for St Helens, they can wrap up the League Leaders’ Shield with a win against their biggest rivals. It will be their first Shield since 2019 and will be the 10th time they’ve finished top in Super League history.

Team News:

The only change Wigan have made to the 21-man squad is the return of Mike Cooper from his ban in place of Leeds bound James McDonnell.

The Saints also welcome back a key forward from suspension in Morgan Knowles. Curtis Sironen is also back but Will Hopoate is out through a hamstring problem. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.

Match Preview – Key Battles:

Jai Field vs Jack Welsby/Will Hopoate:

Bevan French vs Tommy Makinson: Tommy Makinson was a try scoring machine at the start of the season until injury struck him down. Since then, Bevan French has ploughed ahead in the race to end the year as the league’s top scorer and has been in some special form recently. But so has Makinson since his return from injury benefiting from the threat posed by Konrad Hurrell. It’s a shame both play on the right wing as we won’t see them directly battle from 1-80.

Liam Farrell vs Joe Batchelor: Wigan badly missed Liam Farrell when he was absent even succumbing to a shock defeat to Wakefield. His work rate and attacking threat will give Wigan a major boost. He’ll be up against another top backrow in Joe Batchelor who is physical and skilful. What a battle this should be.

Where the game will be won and lost:

Every time these two have met in 2022, Wigan have learnt something from the standard setters St Helens. What will those lessons allow them to do here? Well even when Wigan nearly beat the Saints at the Magic Weekend, they were under the pump. In fact the only time they’ve not spent the majority of the game on the back foot in terms of territory was their semi-final win where their fast start caught the Champions off guard. They’ll need to do that again and mix it with their electric attack. As for St Helens, it’ll be on them to close down Wigan’s space and boss the game so they can claim that League Leaders’ Shield.

Score Prediction: Wigan Warriors 12-20 St Helens

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