19th May 2017 by TSZ
Wigan Warriors vs Warrington Wolves Preview
- Wigan head into their game with Warrington with a stronger squad than they have been able to name over previous weeks but their injury list is still much larger than they'd like.
- Captain Sean O'Loughlin is always a welcome sight in the Wigan squad due to his importance to the side with George Williams also named after being a last-minute withdrawal from their Challenge Cup tie through illness.
- Wigan are the most successful side in terms of Magic Weekend success, registering seven victories since the concept was introduced in 2007.
Head Coach: Shaun Wane
Squad: Joe Burgess, Tom Davies, Liam Farrell, Callum Field, Liam Forsyth, Nick Gregson, Willie Isa, Liam Marshall, Michael Mcilorum, Romain Navarrete, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sean O’Loughlin, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Lewis Tierney, Joel Tomkins, Jack Wells, George Williams, Josh Woods
Unavailable: Anthony Gelling (Knee), Ben Flower (Achilles), Morgan Escaré (Knee), Thomas Leuluai (Jaw), Tony Clubb (Kidney), Oliver Gildart (Back), Sam Tomkins (Ankle), Dom Manfredi (Knee), John Bateman (Shoulder), Jake Shorrocks (Knee)
- Warrington were able to maintain their recent improvement with a hard-fought win over Widnes in the Challenge Cup. They weren't at their best and came up against a spirited outfit but managed to seal the game late on.
- Tony Smith is boosted by the return of influential pair Daryl Clark and Joe Westerman who have both been named in the 19-man squad having missed several games through injuries. However, the Wolves have lost prop Ashton Sims to a one-match suspension.
- Warrington need a win to give themselves a chance of ending the weekend inside the top 8, something they have yet to do this season following their poor start.
Head Coach: Tony Smith
Squad: Ryan Atkins, Kevin Brown, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Dominic Crosby, Brad Dwyer, Kurt Gidley, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, Benjamin Jullien, George King, Tom Lineham, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Stefan Ratchford, Matty Russell, Andre Savelio, Joe Westerman, Ben Westwood
Unavailable: Toby King (Hamstring), Ben Currie (Knee), Ashton Sims (Suspended)
Analysis - what to expect
Neither of these teams would have expected to be where they are in the Super League table at this stage of the season, with Warrington in particular not imagining they could have been outside of the top 8 come Magic Weekend. It's a huge game for different reasons with Warrington needing to keep the pressure on those sides above as they look to ensure they don't end up in the Middle 8s, whereas Wigan will want to close the three-point gap on fourth place. It should be a close game and although Warrington are in better form, Wigan have won the last three meetings between the two in the Super League, which should give them the edge with Williams and O'Loughlin pulling the strings.