Big match preview: Leeds v Wigan (8pm)

The Background
It’s first against second in Super League tonight, as in-form Leeds Rhinos will be looking to extend their lead at the summit by beating Wigan Warriors. The Warriors are unbeaten at home this season but their away form is much more up and down – however, with two wins against the Rhinos this year, one at home and one at Magic Weekend, these two closely-matched sides should provide a thriller live on Sky.

The Team News
Leeds Rhinos were expected to draft in one of Robbie Ward or Jordan Lilley for the game following a long-term layoff to Paul Aiton, but they have instead gone without either. Wigan are still without Dan Sarginson and Joe Burgess – which means both Dom Manfredi and John Bateman will continue in the backs after last week’s win against Huddersfield. Ben Flower is also expected to return.

Predicted Line-Ups
Leeds: Hardaker; Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall; McGuire, Sinfield; Garbutt, Burrow, Peacock, Ablett, Ward, Cuthbertson. Subs: Keinhorst, Singleton, Garbutt, Leuluai.
Wigan: Bowen; Charnley, Bateman, Gelling, Manfredi; Williams, Smith; Flower, McIlorum, Crosby, Farrell, Tomkins, O’Loughlin. Subs: Patrick, Powell, Tautai, Clubb.

The Stats
Leeds have won their last three home meetings with Wigan, with the Warriors’ last victory at Headingley coming 50-8 on 1 June, 2012.

Last 5 meetings:
Wigan 26, Leeds 24 (SLR21, 9/7/15)
Leeds 12, Wigan 27 (SLR16, 30/5/15) (at St James’ Park, Newcastle)
Leeds 26, Wigan 14 (SLR6, 20/3/15)
Wigan 21, Leeds 6 (SLR26, 5/9/14)
Leeds 14, Wigan 18 (SLR13, 17/5/14) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)

Super League Record
Leeds won 24 (includes wins in 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012 play-offs)
Wigan won 34 (includes win in 1998 Grand Final and wins in 1998, 2002, 2003, 2010 & 2013 play-offs)
4 draws
Leeds highest score: 70-0 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)
Wigan highest score: 68-14 (H, 1996) (also widest margin)

Rob Burrow needs two tries to reach 200 for his career. Burrow has scored 178 tries for Leeds since 2001, to go with representative touchdowns for Great Britain (4, 2005 & 2007), England (9, 2004, 2008 & 2012-2013), England ‘A’ (5, 2002-2003) and England under-21s (2, 2001). He also made two non-tryscoring appearances for Yorkshire (2002-2003).

Zak Hardaker needs two tries to reach a career century of touchdowns. Hardaker has scored 65 tries for Leeds since 2011, to go with representative scores for England (3, 2012-2013) and England Knights (2, 2012). He also scored 28 tries for previous club Featherstone (2010-2011).

Kallum Watkins needs two tries to reach a career century of touchdowns. Watkins has scored 90 tries for Leeds since 2008, to go with 8 scores for England since 2012.