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St Helens v Wakefield: Teams
At Knowsley Road, Sunday March 2, kick-off 3pm
St Helens have returned to form since their shock opening round defeat at Hull Kingston Rovers.
The return of club captain Paul Sculthorpe from injury saw the Challenge Cup holders defeat Super League rivals the Bradford Bulls 22-16 at Odsal last time out.
Nick Fozzard has joined Saints' lengthy list of absentees after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in West Yorkshire and will be a big loss for Daniel Anderson's side.
Fellow front-rowers Jason Cayless (knee) and Maurie Fa'asavalu (broken thumb) and back-row pair Jon Wilkin (knee) and Chris Flannery (leg) are all still sidelined, but Willie Talau is named in St Helens' 20-man squad.
Stand-off Leon Pryce is also in there after being cleared by an RFL disciplinary panel for catching Andy Lynch's testicles in the Bradford game.
Youngsters Matty Smith and Kyle Eastmond are also selected as the result of all the injuries.
Saints are currently four points behind Super League leaders Leeds Rhinos and will want to apply some pressure on the Grand Final winners with Brian McClennan's side taking a week out to play in the World Club Challenge.
The Wakefield Wildcats head to Knowsley Road on the back of a disappointing 34-18 defeat at Harlequins.
John Kear's side have lost their clinical touch since stunning the Bulls at Belle Vue in the opening round and their injuries are starting to mount up.
Hooker Brad Drew broke two bones in his hand at the Twickenham Stoop and looks set for a three-month absence.
While captain Jason Demetriou (ankle) and centre Tony Martin (hamstring) also picked up injuries in London and, despite being named in the 20-man squad, the skipper has little chance of playing.
Winger Damian Blanch (shoulder) and hooker Tevita Leo-Latu (calf tear) are both still sidelined.
Matt Blaymire also falls out of the 20-man squad, with Jason Golden, Aaron Murphy and Paul Reilly coming in.
The Wildcats desperately need a win, but are long odds to break their losing streak against the 2007 World Club Challenge winners.
They can take heart from victory over Anderson's men at Belle Vue last season, but St Helens won the corresponding fixture 34-14 and are a tough prospect for any team at Knowsley Road.
St Helens 20-man squad: Wellens, Gardner, Gidley, Talau, Meli, Pryce, Long, Cunningham, Gilmour, Sculthorpe, Roby, Bennett, Graham, Hargreaves, Smith, Clough, Tyrer, Eastmond, Frodsham, Dean.
Wakefield 20-man squad: Atkins, Reilly, Rooney, Brough, Watene, Sculthorpe, Ferres, MacGillivray, Demetriou, Obst , Bibey, Henderson, Wilkes, Gleeson, Grix, Golden, Ferguson, Moore, George, Murphy.
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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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