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08 Sep 2017 by TSZ

Hull FC vs Wigan Warriors Preview

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The Lowdown

HULL FC

  • Hull suffered a Wembley hangover as their Headingley hoodoo continued last week, with Leeds coming out as victors over the Challenge Cup winners to leave the black and whites just about clinging on to their top four spot.
  • Four changes have been made to the 19-man squad due to injuries and suspensions with Gareth Ellis, Steve Michaels, Carlos Tuimavave and Chris Green all missing with Liam Watts, Mark Minichiello, Masi Matongo and Josh Griffin taking their places for Lee Radford's men. Radford himself may actually be miss the game through illness.
  • Hull face a huge test of their credentials to be a double-winning side in a repeat of the Challenge Cup final. However, they've beaten Wigan in five of the last seven meetings in all competitions which bodes well for them.

Head Coach: Lee Radford

Squad: Josh Bowden, Jake Connor, Jack Downs, Brad Fash, Mahe Fonua, Josh Griffin, Danny Houghton, Albert Kelly, Sika Manu, Masi Matongo, Mark Minichiello, Jamie Shaul, Marc Sneyd, Fetuli Talanoa, Scott Taylor, Jordan Thompson, Jansin Turgut, Danny Washbrook, Liam Watts

Unavailable: Gareth Ellis (Suspended), Steve Michaels (Suspended), Carlos Tuimavave (Calf), Chris Green (Appendix)

WIGAN WARRIORS

  • Wigan bounced back from their Wembley disappointment by putting in a solid display against local rivals St. Helens last week to get within touching distance of the top four.
  • Shaun Wane is able to strengthen his squad thanks to the return of Joel Tomkins and Tom Davies after both recovered from injuries. Youngsters Nick Gregson and Jack Wells make way.
  • After struggling for the majority of the season, Wigan's form has turned at the right time and they have won six of their last eight Super League games. Another win here would see them leapfrog their opponents into the top four.

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 (Ankle)

  • Wigan's 45 tries in the LW zone have formed 37.8% of their tries this season, the highest of any team in that zone. It is also the second highest percentage of any zone by any team, with Huddersfield's RW zone producing slightly more (38.2%).
  • Wigan's six tries in the RC zone is the lowest percentage of tries scored in any zone by any team, with it standing at just 5%.
  • Hull's five tries conceded in the middle zone is the joint lowest by any team in any zone, with only Leeds' middle zone matching them.
  • Hull score a quarter of their tries in the RC zone. Wigan concede 23.7% of their tries in the LC zone - could this be where the black and whites have most joy?

Analysis - what to expect
In a quick repeat of the Challenge Cup final, Hull and Wigan head into this game knowing the importance of their second fixture in the space of two weeks. A loss either way here could be crucial heading into the final couple of games. A Hull win would all but secure their top four place whilst a Wigan win would really open up the race for a semi-final spot. Hull have had the upper hand between the two teams in recent times but Wigan will be seeking revenge having lost to Hull in all three encounters this season and it might be the Warriors that take the important two points.

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