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21 Jun 2017 by TSZ

Widnes Vikings vs Leigh Centurions Preview

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The Lowdown

WIDNES VIKINGS

  • Widnes couldn't make it three wins on the trot as they fell to defeat away at St. Helens in their last Super League fixture. However, a return to the Select Security Stadium will see them attempt to extend their winning run at home to three games.
  • Denis Betts' squad has a much stronger feel to it with the head coach able to recall Joe Mellor, Chris Bridge, Greg Burke and Lloyd White but Sam Wilde and Jack Johnson have both returned to parent club Warrington.
  • The Vikings have won just four of their 18 Super League games this season with two of those wins coming in their last three games, but they are still rooted to the bottom of the table.

Head Coach: Denis Betts

Squad: Chris Bridge, Jack Buchanan, Greg Burke, Hep Cahill, Rangi Chase, Danny Craven, Gil Dudson, Alex Gerrard, Aaron Heremaia, Chris Houston, Jordan Johnstone, Stefan Marsh, Joe Mellor, Eamon O'Carroll, Tom Olbison, Charly Runciman, Corey Thompson, Lloyd White, Matt Whitley

Unavailable: Patrick Ah Van (Achilles), Tom Armstrong (Injured), MacGraff Leuluai (Injured), Chris Dean (Injured), Tom Gilmore (Injured), Rhys Hanbury (Injured), Manase Manuokafoa, Jay Chapelhow

LEIGH CENTURIONS

  • Leigh produced an impressive attacking display to put 50 points on Wigan in their last Super League encounter to give them a huge confidence boost ahead of the run-in to the league split.
  • Neil Jukes could hand a debut to Hull FC loanee Nick Rawsthorne after the winger arrived at the club earlier on in the week. Leigh must do without prop Jamie Acton who has picked up another suspension.
  • Leigh have won two of their last four games but those wins may have come too late in their attempt to avoid dropping into the Middle 8s, as they sit six points behind 8th place with just five games left.

Head Coach: Neil Jukes

Squad: Mitch Brown, Lachlan Burr, Ben Crooks, Matty Dawson, Josh Drinkwater, James Green, Ryan Hampshire, Harrison Hansen, Liam Hood, Sam Hopkins, Antoni Maria, Cory Paterson, Eloi Pelissier, Nick Rawsthorne, Ben Reynolds, Glenn Stewart, Danny Tickle, Atelea Vea, Dayne Weston

Unavailable: Adam Higson (Suspended), Jamie Acton (Suspended), James Clare (Knee), Dave Thompson, Micky Higham, Willie Tonga, Gareth Hock, Matty Fleming, Greg McNally

Analysis - what to expect
Super League's bottom two face off in a game that will all but condemn the loser to the Middle 8s. Widnes currently sit bottom of the table, a point behind their visitors, but with so few points left on offer before the end of the regular season, both teams look set to be fighting for their Super League place next season in the Middle 8s. This is a really tough game to call with both knowing what is at stake, but Widnes' recent home form may just be enough to get them over the line.

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