Wigan Warriors vs Toulouse Olympique: Team news, match preview and score prediction

Wigan Warriors were shocked last week by Wakefield meaning their chances of winning the League Leaders’ Shield are now remote at best.

Their dreams of Old Trafford are of course still very much alive but they certainly need a boost of momentum after last week’s defeat so a game against Toulouse who are now all but relegated is perhaps the perfect fixture for them.

As for the French side, it’s last chance saloon. They need a win as soon as possible but away to Wigan a victory seems unlikely.

Team News

Wigan have lost Mike Cooper to a ban this week as a remnant from last weekend’s gutting defeat to Wakefield. They do at least have John Bateman back whilst Liam Farrell has again been included in the squad. Leeds bound James McDonnell has also been recalled from his loan with Leigh.

Last week may have been the most costly week of Toulouse’s season. Not only did they lose to Warrington almost granting the Wolves safety, exacerbated by a win for Wakefield and concluded by two bans to key players with Olly Ashall-Bott receiving a ban as Corey Norman faces a long time out. Guy Armitage is back from injury on a more positive note whilst James Cunningham and Ilias Bergal also return to the fold. Andrew Dixon, Joseph Paulo and Lloyd White are all still injured.

Match Preview – Key Battles:

Jai Field vs Tony Gigot: There’s every chance Tony Gigot could play in the halves this week especially with Corey Norman banned but with Olly Ashall-Bott also out, he may have to play fullback as he did at the start of the season. Either way he’ll be Toulouse’s answer to Jai Field and will be tasked with being the French side’s x-factor.

Bevan French vs Matty Russell: Matty Russell is the king of tackle busts and Bevan French might just be the king of speed and footwork – along with Jai Field of course – so seeing them try and out fox each other certainly could be interesting as they offer unique threats.

Cade Cust vs Lucas Albert: There will be plenty of pressure on Lucas Albert with two of Toulouse’s spine out and with Tony Gigot potentially facing a positional switch, thus there’ll be a lot riding on Albert’s organisation but it may be tough for him to grip the game against Cade Cust who can organise and conjure up a magic moment.

Where the game will be won and lost:

This will be a tough match for Toulouse, it’ll be on them to restrict Wigan’s go forward and deny any space for the Warriors’ sparkling attack. Two big asks which are musts if the French side are to defeat Wigan. Toulouse’s own unique offence will be ameliorated by the absence of some key men.

Score Prediction: Wigan Warriors 32-6 Toulouse Olympique

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