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Super League: St Helens v Wigan Warriors preview
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Two Super League giants go head-to-head on Good Friday as St Helens entertain fierce rivals Wigan Warriors at a sold-out Langtree Park.
Saints are this year's unbeaten leaders with a perfect record while champions Wigan are coming up hard on the rails after league triumphs over Hull KR, Warrington, Catalan and London Broncos.
The Warriors beat Saints 28-16 on home soil last season, although Nathan Brown's men exacted revenge with a thrilling 22-16 victory courtesy of Joe Greenwood's late score.
St Helens have stand-off Lance Hohaia back to partner Luke Walsh while Matty Dawson is set to take over on the wing from Adam Swift.
Coach Brown brings in forwards Mark Flanagan, Greg Richards and Luke Thompson after losing Willie Manu and Anthony Laffranchi to injury at Castleford.
"They are always big and tough matches and I'm looking forward to it. I know the history between the two towns and the two clubs. It will be great to play in front of a sell-out crowd. Both sets of fans will be vocal," Hohaia told the club's official website.
"We played well at home against them last season and they will have a good attitude - like they always do - coming into this match. We have a lot of confidence in the team at the moment and the boys are playing good football. We need to get out there and give a good performance."
Wigan welcome back scrum-half Matty Smith and forwards Ben Flower and Liam Farrell after resting them in last Friday's success against plucky London Broncos.
The only player missing is England international winger Josh Charnley, who remains sidelined with a knee problem, so Dan Sarginson should retain his place out wide.
"We are finding ways to win games but we are not playing at our best yet. We need to find some consistent form and hopefully that will be this Good Friday against Saints," head coach Shaun Wane told the club's official website.
"We face a real challenge but we will go there and do our best. This is more than two points this game, there is a fierce rivalry and a healthy respect for the St Helens club, and them for us. We want to win this game on Friday at all costs."
St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Jones, Hohaia, Walsh, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Flanagan, Wellens, Walmsley, Greenwood, Walker, Dawson, Richards, Thompson.
Wigan Warriors: Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Clubb, Dudson, L. Farrell, Flower, Goulding, Green, Hughes, James, McIlorum, O'Loughlin, Pettybourne, Sarginson, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, Williams.
You can catch Wigan Warriors in action on Good Friday as they battle rivals St Helens live on Sky Sports 1HD from 12.15pm
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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 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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