Widnes ready to make the most of Wigan’s big absences

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The absence of Sam Tomkins and John Bateman could well hand Widnes Vikings the advantage when they host Wigan Warriors in Super League tonight.

Wigan travel to the Select Security Stadium sitting third in the table and take on a Widnes side who seem to have got over their mid-season wobble.

The Warriors make the trip without two of their star men though, with Tomkins rested and Bateman serving a club suspension.

News that the two England internationals won’t be in the travelling party will no doubt have been welcome information to Denis Betts and his side, who are looking to hold on to their place in the top eight.

Widnes 6/4 to beat Wigan – looked nail on for a position in the Super 8s earlier in the season after a blistering start to 2016. However, eight defeats on the spin sent them spiralling down the table, but two wins from their last three will have settled the ship.

Key to their success is captain and former Wigan man Kevin Brown, who makes the Vikings tick in attack. He’s not reached his tryscoring heights of 2015 so far this season, but is always a threat close to the line. He is 2/1 to score against his former club.

Wigan are ticking along nicely in 2016, recording crucial wins despite not being at their best. Four wins in a row – three of which have been extremely hard-fought – have seen them sit just two points off top spot. They don’t have the best of records at Widnes, though, having won just once in their last four trips to Cheshire, but are favourites at 4/7 to win tonight.

Head coach Shaun Wane will be hoping his decision to rest marquee man Tomkins doesn’t come back to hurt him, but it could do just that, and Widnes will be well fancied to nick a victory on their famous i-pitch, with a home win between 1-12 points available at 3/1.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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Joe Whiteley

Joe is a Yorkshireman with a love for most sports, but especially rugby league, football and cricket. After realising he didn't have the strength, skill or hand-eye coordination to play any of those professionally, he completed a degree in Sports Journalism. He has since worked for sports publishers, newspapers and a professional rugby league club before joining Ladbrokes.