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Super League: Wakefield Wildcats v Widnes Vikings preview
Wakefield Wildcats will look to maintain their playoff push against Widnes Vikings in Super League action on Thursday, a game which can be seen live on Sky Sports.
The Wildcats are unbeaten in four league outings following the appointment of James Webster, including securing an impressive 16-14 success over title-hopefuls Leeds Rhinos last Friday.
The Vikings meanwhile have not beaten Wakefield since their return to Super League and are not in the best league form of late, having won only one of their last six.
Wakefield's veteran second rower Ali Lauitiiti is set to make his comeback after being out since April with a knee injury. The former Leeds Rhino takes the place of Max Jowitt in Webster’s 19-man squad.
Matty Wildie and Chris Annakin, who has completed a five-match ban, return in place of scrum-half Pita Godinet and prop forward Daniel Smith, who both miss out with knee injuries.
“Widnes will come and use the ball very well,” hooker Paul McShane told the Yorkshire Evening Post. “They are a great attacking side and we need to counteract that.
“They’ll want to get back to winning ways and will want to do it against us on Thursday so we know what to expect.”
Widnes coach Denis Betts recalls centre Stefan Marsh, who has missed the last two matches with a wrist injury, at the expense of Cameron Phelps in the only likely change to the team that lost to Castleford.
Assistant coach Mick Cassidy told Widnes’ official website: “I don’t think we have beaten Wakefield since our return to Super League so maybe we are going in to it as underdogs and the pressure is certainly off us and on them to win this game.
“They’re playing really well, they’re playing some good rugby and they have got some really good players who are hitting some good form so we are just going out there to compete.
“We know we can score tries but previously our defence has lost us games and that’s one thing we’ve worked on this week.”
Wakefield Wildcats: Mathers, Riley, Annakin, Keinhorst, Sykes, Lauitiiti, Anderson, McShane, Gilmour, Wildie, Washbrook, Ryan, Owen, Moore, T. Smith, Tautai, Lyne, Scruton, Raleigh.
Widnes Vikings: Ah Van, Allen, Brown, Cahill, Clarke, Dean, Flynn, Galea, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Johnson, Joseph, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, Owens, Tickle, White.
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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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