Wigan Warriors vs Salford Red Devils Preview

The Lowdown

WIGAN WARRIORS

  • The Warriors' performance levels have been somewhat inconsistent in recent weeks but their home form has been quite strong having won their last three so they will be confident against this struggling Salford side.
  • Winger Tom Davies misses out due to a hamstring strain and he is replaced in the 19-man squad by Nick Gregson but they have good options on the wings to cover his absence without impacting the quality of the team.
  • Wigan will be aware of fourth placed Wakefield's result at Castleford on Thursday night but regardless of that result they simply have to win this game to have any chance of the top four and play-offs.

Head Coach: Shaun Wane

Squad: John Bateman, Joe Burgess, Tony Clubb, Liam Farrell, Anthony Gelling, Oliver Gildart, Nick Gregson, Willie Isa, Thomas Leuluai, Liam Marshall, Michael McIlorum, Frank-Paul Nuuausala, Sean O'Loughlin, Sam Powell, Ryan Sutton, Taulima Tautai, Sam Tomkins, Jack Wells, George Williams

Unavailable: Ben Flower (Achilles), Morgan Escaré (Knee), Dom Manfredi (Knee), Jake Shorrocks (Knee), Joel Tomkins (Groin), Tom Davies (Hamstring)

SALFORD RED DEVILS

  • Salford's form is miserable right now, and it is difficult to see where they can get a win from even though they are still in contention to challenge for a top four place if they can halt this alarming slide which has seen them lose 8 of their last 9 league games.
  • They are without key man Ben Murdoch-Masila due to a rib injury but they welcome back Junior Sa'u and they will hope he can inject some life into this struggling set of players as they face the team that knocked them out of the Challenge Cup.
  • As the injuries continue to mount up, Ian Watson's men know they have to reverse this form and produce a performance similar to when they beat Wigan 31-16 back in May at the DW Stadium.

Head Coach: Ian Watson

Squad: Jake Bibby, Kriss Brining, Todd Carney, Niall Evalds, George Griffin, Weller Hauraki, Greg Johnson, Josh Jones, Craig Kopczak, Olsi Krasniqi, Ryan Lannon, Rob Lui, Tyrone McCarthy, Gareth O'Brien, Junior Sa'u, Logan Tomkins, Manu Vatuvei, Adam Walne, Jordan Walne

Unavailable: Ben Murdoch-Masila (Rib), Lama Tasi (Knee), Mark Flanagan (Shoulder), Lee Mossop (Injured), Michael Dobson (Injured), Kris Welham, Josh Wood, Dan Murray

Analysis - what to expect
As the race for the top four hots up, both of these sides know there is little margin for error if they are to put pressure on those sides above them. All the key factors coming into this game - form, momentum, team news and home advantage - are all in Wigan's favour, and there is very little reason to think the Red Devils will be able to halt this alarming run of form. A comfortable home win is on the cards here.