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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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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|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 Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|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|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
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