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Wigan Warriors v Catalan Dragons: Super League preview
Wigan Warriors have several injury concerns ahead of Friday's Super League fixture against Catalan Dragons at the DW Stadium.
Skipper Sean O'O'Loughlin (hamstring), Chris Tuson (hip) and Dom Crosby (concussion) have all been named in the Warriors' 19-man squad but face late checks.
Wing Pat Richards will be making his 200th Wigan appearance and needs one try to reach 150 for the club.
The Warriors come into the match on the back of successive wins over London Broncos and Castleford Tigers and, like their French visitors, sit one point behind Super League leaders Huddersfield Giants.
Catalan have second rower Louis Anderson returning after he suffered back spasms in the warm-up to last week's 29-22 win over Wakefield in France.
But Antoni Maria was injured in that match and Lopini Paea, Zeb Taia and Julian Bousquet are still unavailable.
With full-back Brent Webb still recovering from a back injury and scrum-half Scott Dureau not yet ready to return after undergoing eye surgery, Jean-Philippe Baile and Frederic Vaccari are set for their first appearances of the season.
"Catalan are a big aggressive team with good skill, they have strike all over the park. They have big front rowers and a team playing really well," Wigan coach Shaun Wane told his club's official website.
"We need to concentrate for 80 minutes but if we play like we did for periods against Castleford we will be under the pump, where we defended well for a set, then had a poor set and you can't do that against a team like Catalan.
"They are like us, they have been in a few arm wrestles this season and I think this will also be a tight game, the team that concentrate on their skill will win the game I'm sure and I think the Catalan coach (Laurent Frayssinous) will think the same.
"If we can physically handle their middles then we give ourselves a chance of winning the game."
Wigan squad: Burke, Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Flower, Green, Hughes, McIlorum,O'Loughlin, Powell, Richards, Smith, Lloyd, Taylor, Thornley, L Tomkins, S Tomkins, Tuson
Catalan squad: Blanch, Pryce, Bosc, Elima, Henderson, Casty, Menzies, Anderson, Mounis, Pelissier, Larroyer, Millard, Pala, Simon, Fakir, Baitieri, Duport, Vaccari, Baile
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First Utility Super League Table
|8||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|11||Hull K R||2||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Friday 27th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Castleford Tigers|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:00||Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves|
|19:30||Salford Red Devils vs Hull FC|
|Sunday 1st March|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Wigan Warriors|
|15:00||Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Wildcats|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
|Wigan 24 - 16 Huddersfield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|Salford 6 - 52 St Helens|
|Sunday 8th February|
|Castleford 22 - 24 Wakefield|
|Huddersfield 0 - 19 Hull|
|Hull K R 30 - 40 Leeds|
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