Super League preview: Wakefield Wildcats V Catalan Dragons

This afternoon, Wakefield host Catalan Dragons in what could certainly be seen as a relegation four-pointer. Indeed, both sides are yet to register their first points of the 2014 campaign and have been convincingly beaten in every appearance so far.
To say they are in such a similar position, though, there seems only one way this match can go. Catalan Dragons are without 11 first-team players through injury or suspension, and those that remain are far from in-form.
Wakefield, on the other hand, have almost a full-strength squad to pick from and have made some superb signings this week. Chris Riley – on loan from Warrington – and Nick Scruton, who signed from Bradford last week, are both in line to make debuts and will no doubt strengthen the squad. Half-back partners Jarrod Sammut and Pita Godinet have had more time to gel, too, and it will be interesting to see how they perform.

The teams
Luke Briscoe, Jordan Crowther, Peter Fox, Pita Godinet, Danny Kirmond, Ali Lauitiiti, Reece Lyne, Richie Mathers, Paul McShane, Jon Molloy, Chris Riley, Matt Ryan, Jarrod Sammut, Nick Scruton, Daniel Smith, Paul Sykes, Taulima Tautai, Danny Washbrook, Matt Wildie.

Louis Anderson, Jean-Philippe Baile, Jason Baitieri, William Barthau, Morgan Escare, Jamal Fakir, Benjamin Garcia, Jeff Lima, Gregory Mounis, Michael Oldfield, Lopini Paea, Mathias Pala, Eloi Pelissier, Leon Pryce, Gadwin Springer, Zeb Taia, Frederic Vaccari, Brent Webb, Elliott Whitehead.

What the bookies think
The Wildcats are 8/13 favourites and carry a -4 point handicap. Catalan Dragons are 7/4 to cause an upset. You can get 22/1 for a draw. Click here to read our betting preview for this afternoon’s games.

What the stats say
In 19 Super League matches, Wakefield lead the head-to-head 10-9.
Wakefield highest score: 40-20 (H, 2007) (Widest margin: 38-14, A, 2011)
Catalan Dragons highest score: 42-22 (A, 2011) (Widest margin: 34-10, H, 2012)

What we think
The large number of absentees for Catalan, contrasted by the quality now streaming through the Wakefield squad will see the Yorkshire club win comfortably.

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