Warriors to stake claim
Ian Millward previews Thursday's Super League clash between Wigan Warriors and Leeds Rhinos.
- Related Content
Wigan have been dealt a blow with the loss through injury of Sean O'Loughlin, who is set to miss the remainder of the season, but still go into the game as heavy favourites.
Leeds are preparing for what's become a traditional late-season charge, but can they win at the DW? Find out what our expert thinks below.
Wigan v Leeds (+8) (2000 BST)
This is a fantastic start to the final round of fixtures in the regular Super League season. The last time Leeds went over to the DW Stadium they came out on top in last year's play-offs mainly down to Kevin Sinfield's kicking game on the night.
I really fancied the Warriors to take revenge on Thursday night but the confidence has been dented by the loss through injury of Sean O'Loughlin. He's the link between everything they do in attack and defence and will be sorely missed.
However, Wigan do have a host of players returning having missed last week's defeat against Hull. The headline act is Sam Tomkins but there are a number of others who've been freshened up by Shaun Wane. I think it was the right thing to do and will be rewarded in the play-offs.
Both sides know their final finishing position will be decided by this game and trips to either Huddersfield or Warrington await them.
I thought the scoreline flattered Leeds against Catalan last week and they haven't been scoring points with their usual fluency of late. Brett Delaney and Jamie Jones-Buchanan both return and add to their forward strength but I'm sticking with Wigan to win and cover.
The clash between Josh Charnley and Ryan Hall will be worth the admission money alone but I just feel a fresh and re-focused Wigan side will have too much for the champions.