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Super League match preview: Widnes Vikings v Wakefield Wildcats
- Wane rues loss of Richards
- Rea: Home win very important
- Noble sees promising signs
- Smith: Defence inspired Wolves
- Anderson: Brough was awesome
- McDermott remains grounded
- Red dawn
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- Wolves v Bulls: Teams
- Wigan move clear at top
- Broncos buck the trend at last
- Winning start for Reds' Noble
- Wolves tear Bulls to shreds
- Rhinos run riot at Rovers
- Twelve-man Giants stand tall
- Wildcats show their teeth
Wakefield can usurp Widnes in the Super League table on Friday night with a victory at the Halton Stadium.
Both Widnes and Wakefield come into the game with their tails up following Tetley's Challenge Cup wins over Doncaster and Hemel Stags respectively.
The Vikings will be without youngster Alex Gerrard due to a torn posterior cruciate ligament injury.
However, Rhys Hanbury, Gareth Hock, Ben Cross, Cameron Phelps, Chris Dean and Eamon O'Carroll are all back in contention to face the Wildcats.
Long-term absentees Danny Craven and Stefan Marsh are nearing the end of their rehabilitation, while Dave Allen is closing in on a first-team return.
"We're still hopeful of trying to get the best possible side in the healthiest possible way on the field, as often as we can," Betts told the club's official website.
"We've put the Doncaster game behind us now and our focus is on Wakefield. Under Richard Agar, you can clearly see just how well organised, structured and well coached they are.
"We're trying to emulate what Wakefield did last year and it will definitely be a game that is competitive and contested by two sides that are keen to strengthen their position in the league."
Wakefield boss Richard Agar welcomes back a number of first-team regulars following last weekend's triumph over lower league opposition.
Captain Danny Kirmond, half-back Tim Smith and wing pairing Ben Cockayne and Peter Foxt return to face the Vikings after being rested last weekend.
Jon Molloy is named in a 19-man Super League squad for Wakefield for the first time but the second row is expected to miss out on the final 17.
Richie Mathers is the only first-team absentee as he sits out another week through injury. The full-back ruptured a testicle and also suffered a foot injury in Wakefield's defeat at Wigan Warriors earlier this month.
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, K. Brown, Clarke, Cross, Dean, Gore, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Lawton, Leuluai, Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Pickersgill, Winterstein, White.
Wakefield Wildcats: Fox, Collis, L. Smith, Cockayne, Sykes, T. Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Wood, Amor, Wilkes, Mellars, Lyne, Annakin, Molloy.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
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