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Wigan Warriors v St Helens: Prediction, Tips and Odds

Wigan Warriors will be out to avenge one of only two losses they have suffered all season when they play host to derby rivals St Helens at the Brick Community Stadium on Friday night.

Saints ended the Warriors’ 15-game winning run back in March when late tries from Tommy Makinson and Konrad Hurrell completed a sensational turnaround.

Wigan were leading 4-2 when Liam Byrne saw red for a high shot on Mark Percival and being reduced to 12 men proved the catalyst for Saints’ comeback.

The Super League champions enter Friday’s game on the back of a nine-match win streak that has taken them four points clear at the top of the standings.

They were neck-and-neck with St Helens until Paul Wellens’ side slipped up in back-to-back losses against Salford Red Devils and Castleford Tigers.

Wigan Warriors v St Helens

Wigan Warriors v St Helens betting tips and predictions

St Helens +10.5 Handicap - 10/11

This derby comes at a crucial juncture in the season for both clubs, with Wigan on a roll and Saints needing a bounce-back performance.

The Warriors have won their last two games, against bottom-four dwelling Leigh Leopards and London Broncos, by a total of 54 points combined.

But they were tested by Castleford in their last away game a few weeks ago and come into this clash with a major personnel problem at hooker.

Regular starter Brad O'Neill was handed a one-match ban following a lifting challenge on Leigh prop Rob Mulhern during their previous match.

And the Warriors look likely to be without their other hookers, Kruise Leeming and Tom Forber, through injury with centre Adam Keighran the only other member of their squad with experience of the key position.

Coach Matt Peet could ask versatile bench player Ryan Hampshire to fill in there or promote a youngster to his line-up, but either option looks risky in the circumstances.

Saints could be facing a similar dilemma at hooker with Moses Mbye also banned and first-choice Daryl Clark not certain to feature because of injury.

The absence of experience in the position could make this match even more unpredictable than previous ones have been, although there is a distinct trend in the results.

Saints have won 12 of the last 15 derbies dating back to the stars of 2019, although they have lost each of the last two played at Wigan’s home.

Wellens’ men are 10.5-point underdogs for the clash, which means the Warriors would need to win by the equivalent of two converted tries to prevent Saints from landing the bet.

Despite their wide-margin wins over two Super League minnows recently, this looks too much for what should still be a tight match decided by which team holds their discipline.

St Helens +5.5 1st Half Handicap - 10/11

The clash is expected to feature several key player battles which could influence the outcome right from the start.

The clash of front rows between Wigan's Mike Cooper and Liam Byrne against St Helens' George Delaney and Matty Lees should be particularly intriguing.

But in the backs, Saints may have a slight edge in creativity.

Wigan’s star full-back Jai Field remains on the treatment table after he suffered a bad hamstring injury in last month’s Challenge Cup Final win over Warrington Wolves.

That puts a lot more pressure on Bevan French, who came up with a magical piece of skill to outfox Saints’ defence and cross the whitewash for Wigan’s only score in March’s 18-4 defeat at Totally Wicked Stadium.

Saints’ attacking fulcrum revolves around Jack Welsby and Jonny Lomax, who owe their team a performance after a poor outing against Castleford last time out.

These are two international players of some repute and will not like the criticism that has been aimed in their direction in the last few days.

If Saints’ forwards deliver them opportunities in Wigan’s half, this duo can create chances for opportunistic winger Waqa Blake, who has crossed for nine tries in 15 appearances this season.

Wigan’s defence has not been fully tested in the last two games and Saints have plenty of power and motivation to make their presence felt in the early going.

So the +5.5 first-half handicap for the underdogs also looks enticing here.

Wigan Warriors v St Helens odds

Wigan Warriors - 3/10
St Helens -
5/2

View the full market and more odds for Wigan Warriors v St Helens on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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