Home comforts should give Catalans Dragons the boost they need to record their first win of the season against Hull FC on Saturday.
The Dragons, who are notoriously bad travellers, started their season by falling to a close 12-6 defeat away at Wigan Warriors, a result which should provide them with a lot of hope that they can improve their away record in 2016.
Hull FC, meanwhile, got off to a perfect start, beating Salford 42-20 at the KC Stadium last Friday and will be looking to achieve something only two sides managed in Super League last season, an away win in the South of France.
Both sides recruited well in the close-season, bringing in high-profile names from both hemispheres. Dragons’ acquisitions included Pat Richards, Glenn Stewart, Dave Taylor, Richie Myler and Paul Aiton, while the Airlie Birds bought well from the NRL, snapping up Frank Pritchard, Sika Manu and Mahe Fonua, who will miss the game against Catalans after picking up a knee injury against Salford last week.
The strength of both squads and the close nature of previous meetings between the teams point to another tight encounter in Perpignan, highlighted by the low -6 handicap win for the Dragons available at 10/11. But it’s Catalans’ superb record on their own turf and the backing of a raucous French crowd that should see them edge the tie in undoubtedly better conditions than both sides had to deal with in the North of England last Friday.
Not much has separated the two sides over the last few seasons, and the last two times they’ve met in Perpignan the Dragons have edged it by four and six points respectively. A close Dragons win by 1-5 points (6/1) or 6-10 (9/2) represent good value for money if previous encounters are anything to go off.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.