Wigan Warriors will be more than capable of pushing their Round One hoodoo aside to beat Catalans Dragons in their Super League XXI opener.
Last season’s beaten Grand Finalists, who will be without star signing Sam Tomkins for the visit of the Pergpignan-based Dragons, have won only one of their last five opening games.
But that statistic pales into insignificance when you compare it to Catalans’ recent away record, with the French side managing just two wins on the road from 15 attempts in 2015.
Combine that statistic with Wigan’s incredible record at the DW Stadium – they won every Super League game on home turf last season – and all things point to a convincing Warriors victory.
All three of the sides’ meetings last season were high-scoring affairs, with two of the matches ending with 50 or more points scored.
And given the French side’s defensive frailties coupled with the Warriors’ numerous strike players, Ladbrokes’ enhanced price of 11/4 for the hosts to win by 20+ points look appealing.
After spending a lot of 2015 in a watching capacity due to the impressive form of youngsters Joe Burgess and Dom Manfredi, England winger Josh Charnley looks set to regain his berth on the flank in 2016. He’s scored a try in each of his last four outings against the Dragons and is 5/6 to do so again on Friday.
Once again it’s been a busy close-season for the Dragons, as they’ve brought in a number of experienced players – including Dave Taylor, Pat Richards and Glenn Stewart from the NRL, as well as Jodie Broughton, Richie Myler and Paul Aiton from Super League.
How quickly those new faces will gel remains to be seen, and the consistent nature of Wigan’s squad points to a comfortable home win, taking the -14 handicap available at 6/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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