An injury-hit Huddersfield Giants side face an uphill struggle against Wigan Warriors as round two of Super League continues this evening.
Despite the competition being just one round old, the Giants are already ravaged by injuries to a number of key players, adding to the retirement of Luke Robinson and the loss of England international Brett Ferres to rivals Leeds Rhinos in the close season.
Notable absentees for the Giants include talismanic captain Danny Brough, Eorl Crabtree, Joe Wardle and Scott Grix, as their coach Paul Anderson shuffles around a squad that was already light on numbers going into the season.
Wigan aren’t without their own injury troubles, though, with Sam and Joel Tomkins both on the sidelines. But, the sheer magnitude of the Giants’ injury list, compounded with the importance of those missing and the youthful nature of their 19-man squad suggests Wigan should be too strong and must be fancied with a -12 handicap at 10/11.
Wigan have got the upper hand on Huddersfield over recent times, defeating the Giants in their last five meetings, including a 32-18 victory at the John Smith’s Stadium last season, which coincidentally was also against a depleted Giants side. The Warriors are 11/2 to win by 11-15 points this time around.
That game saw a bright start from a makeshift Giants line up, leading to the sides going in level at the break before Huddersfield eventually fell to defeat. A repeat of a draw at half-time and a Wigan win at full-time can be backed at 14/1.
Tongan powerhouse Ukuma Ta’ai has been a virtual ever present for Huddersfield over the last two seasons and has reached double figures for tries both years. He crossed the line against St Helens last week and is good value at 9/2 to do so again at anytime on Friday.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.