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Warriors v Wolves: Teams
At the DW Stadium, Friday March 23, kick-off 8pm
Wigan and Warrington take centre stage on Friday night as two of Super League's heavyweights go toe-to-toe at the DW Stadium.
The Wolves did the regular-season double over the Cherry and Whites last season, including a 24-6 triumph on their travels last March.
However the Warriors did come out on top when the sides met in the Challenge Cup, ending the Wire's two-year reign in the competition with a 44-24 win in a thrilling quarter-final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Wigan have no fresh injury concerns for their second successive home fixture following last Sunday's 42-30 victory over the London Broncos.
Head coach Shaun Wane has made just one alteration to his squad, Jack Hughes taking the place of fellow youngster Matty Russell.
Wigan half-back Brett Finch has indicated the Warriors will be aiming to put down a marker when they meet Warrington at the DW Stadium.
The winners of the clash of last year's top two finishing teams will leapfrog leaders Huddersfield, at least for 48 hours, and strike a psychological blow against one of their main title rivals.
"We missed a golden opportunity against Widnes a fortnight ago, when we let ourselves down there," said Finch.
"Even though it's early in the season and probably won't have a bearing on what happens at the end of season, it would be good for our confidence to get a win against a strong team like Warrington."
Warrington could well have Brett Hodgson available, with the full-back in contention to face the Warriors in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Hodgson, the 2009 Man of Steel, has missed his side's last two games with a back injury but has been included by coach Tony Smith in his 19-man squad.
"Brett is in and around the squad," first-team assistant coach Richard Marshall said. "I don't think he could have played last week but he has trained this week with a view to playing."
The visitors expect Lee Briers to shake off a hip problem and take his place in the half-back positions, while Michael Monaghan could also feature as he continues his return to action after a short lay-off for surgery.
Monaghan featured in the 32-30 win over Wakefield last Sunday after missing the previous two games following operations on both knees.
Marshall added: "I don't think he was too impressed with his own performance - by his own admission - but Wakefield had a really good go at him.
"His lack of match fitness showed but he is coming back from a double knee operation and he is pleased he got on the field and hopefully he will be better for the run."
Garreth Carvell is a certain absentee after suffering a neck injury in the loss at Leeds, Warrington's only reverse so far in the 2012 campaign.
Wigan: S. Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Richards, Finch, Leuluai, Prescott, McIlorum, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin, Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Lauaki, Flower, Hughes, Spencer.
Warrington: Atkins, Blythe, C. Bridge, Briers, Cooper, Dwyer, Grix, Hill, Hodgson, McCarthy, J. Monaghan, M. Monaghan, Morley, Myler, Riley, Waterhouse, Westwood, Williams, Wood.
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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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