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Super League preview: Wigan Warriors v Huddersfield Giants
- Wane promises improved Wigan
- Tomkins back to face Giants
- Ferres aiming for big finish
- Wildcats boss expects response
- Anderson: We've won nothing
- Frayssinous hails Whitehead
- Powell celebrates 'crazy' win
- Hull FC spirit pleases Gentle
- Smith: Wolves were scrappy
- Saints v Broncos: Teams
- City Reds v Rhinos: Teams
- Wolves v Wildcats: Teams
- Bulls v Dragons: Teams
- Hull KR v Hull FC: Teams
- Vikings v Tigers: Teams
- Giants show title credentials
- Bulls' hopes go up in smoke
- Wolves hit Wildcats for six
- Hull muscle past Rovers
- Cas edge thriller at Widnes
- Saints see off tame Broncos
Top spot in Super League is up for grabs at the DW Stadium on Friday when Wigan play host to league leaders Huddersfield, live on Sky Sports 3HD.
The Warriors are just a point behind Huddersfield after beating Hull KR last week while the Giants maintained their fine form by dispatching Salford on Sunday.
Paul Anderson's men saw off the Warriors 22-10 in February while they also claimed a 20-16 success over Shaun Wane's side at the DW last season.
Huddersfield have failed to build upon positive starts in recent seasons, but victory for the West Yorkshire club over last season's League Leaders' Shield winners would further enhance their Grand Final prospects.
A win for Huddersfield would leave Wigan a mountain to climb to claim top spot with just three rounds of the league calendar remaining, while Warrington Wolves also have their eyes on the prize.
The hosts are boosted ahead of the match by the news that Sam Tomkins, Pat Richards, Liam Farrell and Gil Dudson all return to Wane's 19-man squad.
Tomkins, who was replaced by Ryan Hampshire against the Robins, is back after illness while goal-kicking winger Richards comes in for youngster Joe Burgess.
"Sam is good. He had a bit of food poisoning, a 24-hour bug. It was just bad timing," explained Wane, who will be without Matty Smith, Sean O'Loughlin and Ben Flower.
"We have got a few little knocks and bruises that we'll need to check on. It'll be late on that I select my team - which is quite common. It is just that stage of the season - 20-odd rounds when you get week-in, week-out knocks."
The Giants also welcome back players from injury with hooker Shaun Lunt and forward Jason Chan fit and available - the pair have come in for Josh Johnson and Nathan Mason.
In-form centre Joe Wardle, who is forming a lethal left-side partnership with back-row forward Brett Ferres and winger Aaron Murphy, cannot wait to go head-to-head with the Warriors.
"I can't wait for Friday," Wardle told the Huddersfield Examiner. "When you take up the game, you dream of playing in top-of-the-table games in front of big crowds at places like Wigan.
"We know if we go there and win, we'll put ourselves in a fantastic position to lift the League Leaders Shield. Obviously, it's not going to be easy, but we know we can do it - and I know we'll be ready.
"Personally, this is the biggest game of my career so far, but I'm really looking forward to it. I absolutely love testing myself against the best and showing what I can do on the biggest stages, and this stage is massive."
Wigan: Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Gelling, Goulding, Green, Hansen, Hughes, Lauaki, McIlorum, Mossop, S. Powell, Richards, Taylor, Thornley, L. Tomkins, S. Tomkins, Tuson.
Huddersfield: Grix, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Faiumu, Lawrence, Patrick, Chan, Ta'ai, Murphy, Cording, Ferguson, Wood.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||22||20|
|11||Salford Red Devils||22||17|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||22||4|
|Thursday 31st July|
|20:00||Wigan vs Salford|
|Friday 1st August|
|20:00||Hull vs St Helens|
|20:00||Catalan Dragons vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Bradford|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|15:00||Widnes vs Hull K R|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Huddersfield|
|15:30||Castleford vs London Broncos|
|Thursday 14th August|
|20:00||Hull K R vs Wigan|
|Friday 15th August|
|20:00||Salford vs Catalan Dragons|
|20:00||Warrington vs Castleford|
|Sunday 27th July|
|Huddersfield 38 - 16 Catalan Dragons|
|Bradford 16 - 8 Wigan|
|Warrington 26 - 40 Wakefield|
|Saturday 26th July|
|London Broncos 10 - 62 Hull K R|
|Friday 25th July|
|Salford 18 - 22 Leeds|
|St Helens 44 - 22 Widnes|
|Thursday 24th July|
|Hull 18 - 18 Castleford|
|Sunday 20th July|
|Hull K R 18 - 38 Salford|
|Huddersfield 52 - 26 Bradford|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Catalan Dragons 40 - 6 Wakefield|
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