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Super League XXVIII week four preview: Wigan and Catalans to set the tone

Round four of Super League XXVIII kicks off on Thursday evening with a barnstorming clash at the DW Stadium between Wigan Warriors and Catalans Dragons that should set the weekend up nicely.

Elsewhere, life after Lee Radford begins for Castleford Tigers when they head to Huddersfield Giants on Friday, while Warrington Wolves will look to maintain their perfect record in 2023 away at Hull KR on the same evening.

Speedsters could shine at the DW

WhatWigan Warriors v Catalans Dragons
WhereDW Stadium, Wigan
When20:00, Thursday 9th March
How to watchSky Sports Arena
OddsWigan 1/7, Catalans Dragons 9/2

Thursday's match between Wigan and Catalans could be an early dress rehearsal for the play-offs and both come into the game at the DW Stadium in winning form.

Poor goalkicking cost the Warriors dear in their opener as they went down 27-18 to Hull KR, but Matt Peet's men have bounced back with huge performances in beating Wakefield Trinity 60-0 and Castleford 36-0.

There is a caveat in that those two sides remain winless so far this year and Wigan will need to step it up against the unbeaten Dragons, who opened with a 38-24 win over Wakefield before beating Leigh Leopards and Hull FC 14-6 and 38-6, respectively.

The Warriors won this fixture 48-4 in 2022, but that result came against a much-changed Dragons line-up, with Steve McNamara making 12 alterations to his matchday squad on that occasion. This should be a closer affair and is a potential classic.

There is firepower on both sides, with Wigan's Liam Marshall the league's top try scorer with eight and the Dragons' Tom Johnstone second with five. 

In what looks set to be an exciting game, those two are 11/4 as combined Anytime Tryscorer in our Bet Builder.

Huddersfield to add to Cas hurt

WhatHuddersfield Giants v Castleford Tigers
WhereJohn Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield
When20:00, Friday 10th March
How to watchSky Sports Arena
OddsHuddersfield 1/7, Castleford 9/2

It has been a disastrous 2023 to date for Castleford, with coach Radford's departure on Monday feeling almost inevitable after defeats to Hull FC, St Helens and Wigan.

Andy Last has been placed in temporary charge and could be an astute appointment, having previously coached at hometown club Hull FC and been part of the England set-up in recent years.

However, a trip to Huddersfield is arguably one he will not welcome, with the Giants having got off the mark on Sunday against Wakefield.

Huddersfield are a game behind most of their opponents after sitting out the first week due to Saints' exploits in the World Club Challenge and their holistic approach under Ian Watson seems at odds with how things have been run at Cas in recent years.

It would, therefore, be no surprise to see the side that went out in last year's Eliminators find their form on Friday.

The Giants are 10/11 when given a -14.5 handicap and could well overcome that deficit, but they will need to look out for the Tigers' Bureta Faraimo.

He scored a brace in the defeat to Hull FC and should have added to his tally against Saints. The 32-year-old picked out an intercept but took himself into touch when he looked set to score. He is 12/5 in the Anytime Tryscorers market.

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Kenny-Dowall ban blunts KR attack

WhatHull KR v Warrington Wolves
WhereSewell Group Craven Park
When20:00, Friday 10th March
OddsHull KR 7/4, Warrington 4/9

Warrington's three wins from three has left Super League fans revisiting the eternal question as to whether 2023 will finally be the Wolves' year.

They have an excellent chance to make it four wins in a row on Friday when they head to Humberside to face a Hull KR side who will be without captain Shaun Kenny-Dowall.

The 35-year-old centre has been handed a four-game ban for making unnecessary contact with an injured opponent during Friday's 30-25 defeat to Leigh.

Kenny-Dowall's absence not only deprives the Robins of key leadership, but also of their most potent attacking weapon, with the veteran having scored four tries so far this season.

The Wire's Matty Ashton has crossed three times in 2023 and is 11/10 to do so again at Anytime in a match in which his team can beat the -6.5 handicap placed on them at 10/11.

Elsewhere on Friday and Leeds Rhinos will have Harry Newman and James Bentley available when they look to kick on from their last-gasp win at St Helens against bottom side Wakefield, while, after beating KR last time out, revamped Leigh are 3/1 to cause another upset against Saints.

Finally, Saturday's match and home advantage sees Hull FC understandably priced at 8/15 against Salford Red Devils, with Tony Smith already working his magic at the MKM Stadium.

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