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Super League match preview: Wigan Warriors v Castleford Tigers
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Super League leaders Wigan take on Castleford on Friday night looking to bounce back from their defeat at Warrington on Monday.
While the Warriors went down 22-12 in their last outing, their first defeat in 14 games, the visitors arrive having recorded a moral boosting win after a close contest against Hull FC.
There is mixed news for the hosts as they welcome back Blake Green, Michael McIlorum and Gil Dudson to the squad but Sam Tomkins is not in the 19 due to a swollen knee and Lee Mossop misses out with a hip problem.
Chris Tuson is another absentee, ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Warriors head coach Shaun Wane admits it is a blow to lose the trio with the side already suffering something of an injury crisis.
"Warrington was quite a physical game and we have some knocks from the game so it is a testing time for us this week," he told his side's official website.
"Sam and Lee are struggling at the moment, Sam has a knock on his knee, he is a tough competitor and gets over his injuries quickly and Lee has a knock on his hip. The usual bumps and bruises, we will probably only know our team for sure on game day.
"We know from the Widnes game that Lewis Tierney can fit in and do a job at full-back. It's the same with our front rowers, James Greenwood can perhaps come in, we are struggling with injuries and will take another look on Thursday."
Castleford boss Daryl Powell has made two changes to the Tigers squad which prevailed over Hull with Keith Mason in line to make his first appearance since May.
Dan Fleming also returns with Charlie Martin and the injured Ben Davies the two to miss out.
Wigan will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the table to five over nearest challengers Huddersfield whilst the Tigers could draw level on points with Widnes in 11th with a shock victory at the DW Stadium.
Wigan Warriors squad: Burke, Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Gelling, Goulding, Green, Greenwood, Hansen, Hughes, McIlorum, Powell, Richards, Smith, Spencer, Tierney, Thornley, L Tomkins.
Castleford Tigers squad: Owen, Shenton, Dixon, Chase, Ellis, Walker, Clark, Huby, Hauraki, Millington, Milner, Massey, Holmes, Thompson, Tansey, Fleming, Clare, Mason, Boyle.
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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|
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