Date: Saturday 8th July 2017
Kick Off: 17:00
Venue: Stade Gilbert Brutus (Perpignan)
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TV: Live on SkySports 5HD, Highlights on The Super League Show (BBC 1) and Super League Fulltime (SkySports)
Radio: Live on BBC Local Radio and via the BBC Website
Catalans Dragons v Wigan Warriors
This is a season defining match for both teams as safety is on the line for both. The Dragons go into this match just outside of the top 8 in 9th, were they are 2 points behind Huddersfield and 4 behind Wigan.
If the home side can win, they could either move into the top 8 or be just a win behind the Giants and Warriors whilst a loss will could see them move 4 points behind with just 2 matches left.
Of course, for Wigan they could move 6 points clear of the Dragons with 3 games left and all but guarantee safety in the Super League whilst a loss will mean they need to win all of their remaining matches and they have a relatively tough run in.
The Dragons have won just 2 of their last 10 matches but they have come in their last 5 outings including a come from behind win against Leigh last time out at home. In the South of France, they have now won 2 of their last 3 and perhaps most importantly they have been based in Perpignan for a few weeks now and will be fully acclimatised.
After enduring a 4 match losing run, the Warriors have now won 2 and drawn 1 of their last 3 matches but their away form has been scratchy all season, with just 4 wins from 10 matches.
The Dragons have been hit hard once again as by their ongoing disciplinary issues with Greg Bird, Ben Garcia and Fouad Yaha are suspended. Ritchie Myler and Mika Simon are both injured so the Dragons are really down to the bare bones.
Lambert Belmas, Nabil Djalout and Lucas Albert are amongst the players brought in.
The Warriors are much more settled with Taulima Tautai returning from injury and Lewis Tierney making way in the squad. Joel Tomkins and Dom Manfredi are both injured. Unusually, Wigan will be without their head coach Shaun Wane who has had to go into hospital for surgery.
Both teams go into this match knowing that only a win will do but the ill-discipline of the Dragons has really caught up to them. Everything going into the match was in their favour until the suspensions came and that could just tip the result in Wigan’s favour.
With that said we are predicting a close game and as happens in so matches in Perpignan, there should be lots of points on offer as both are better in attack than defence, although it has to be aid that Wigan’s; defence is stronger and that could prove the difference.
Our Prediction: Wigan Warriors by 8
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