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Super League: Wigan Warriors v Catalan Dragons preview
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Both Wigan and Catalan Dragons will be looking to build on impressive victories last time out when they face each other at the DW Stadium on Friday night.
The Warriors go into the contest off the back of an excellent away triumph over Warrington and are further boosted by the return of skipper Sean O'Loughlin, who has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury.
The England international is the only change to the 19-man squad head coach Shaun Wane named to face the Wolves at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
The Wigan boss knows his side will face a tough challenge against a Dragons outfit that finally opened their account in Super League this year by beating Huddersfield Giants at home last weekend.
"They were very aggressive against Huddersfield and they will have got some real confidence from that game," Wane told Wigan's official website.
"Huddersfield were not at their best but Catalan were tough, they threw numbers into their contact. We know what we need to do to win the game, we have shown the players some footage today and they will be ready and raring to go and good for Friday.
"This is an important game for us on the back the win over Warrington and we want to start to put some performances together now and this is the next one."
Hooker Michael McIlorum completes the third and final match of his suspension for the hosts, meaning he will now be free to face Dewsbury in the Tetley's Challenge Cup next weekend.
The Dragons, meanwhile, have so far struggled on their travels this year, suffering away defeats at Hull FC, Castleford, Wakefield and St Helens in the 2014 campaign.
Coach Laurent Frayssinous has made two alterations to his squad, with loose forward Jason Baitieri and back rower Elliott Whitehead both ruled out with injuries picked up in the victory over the Giants.
They join Vincent Duport, Scott Dureau, Ian Henderson and Brent Webb in the treatment room. The visitors are also without the suspended Jeff Lima, denying the prop the chance to go up against his former employers.
Lima won the Lance Todd Trophy as man of the match in Wigan's Challenge Cup final triumph over Leeds Rhinos back in 2011, becoming the first front rower to take the award since 1980 after scoring two tries.
Julian Bousquet is back for Les Catalans having completed his four-match ban, while Damien Cardace has recovered from an ankle problem and looks set to feature.
Wigan: Bateman, Bowen, Burgess, Charnley, Clubb, Crosby, Dudson, L. Farrell, Flower, Goulding, Green, James, O'Loughlin, Pettybourne, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, Tomkins, Williams.
Catalan Dragons: Escare, Pryce, Pomeroy, Oldfield, Bosc, Elima, Taia, Anderson, Mounis, Maria, Pelissier, Millard, Pala, Simon, Bousquet, Paea, Cardace, Baile, Garcia.
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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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