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Nic Ladds 26th Jun 2009 - 11:38

Catalans primed to be mauled by the Tigers

A game between two teams absolutely desperate for points and with the handicap giving Catalans just a 2 points head start at odds of 10/11, this could be a thriller.

Castleford are also 10/11 giving up the 2 points with the handicap tie 14/1 in the betting which looks a lot more feasible than the odds suggest.

The match odds are also predictably close with Castleford being favourites at 8/13 in the betting with the visitors available at 5/4 and the draw 18/1.

Catalans were beginning to make some headway having just lost to league leaders St Helens 28-32, before beating Celtic and Leeds Rhinos before losing to Warrington last time.

Their chances have been marred by news their captain Greg Bird has been imprisoned for eight months for glassing his girlfriend.

Coach Kevin Walters will be desperate for the players to forget it and get on with their game but it is hard to tell whether an event like this will unite the team or be plaguing their minds and in turn affect their play.

Castleford meanwhile were on a five game losing streak before beating Huddersfield 13-6 in their last game which will give players and fans hope they are turning a corner.

The French side's loss last time was on Spanish soil and their preparation has been marred all the way up to this match, and the confidence boosted Tigers may be able to run in a good few tries which bring alternative handicap markets in to play.

The alternative handicap 1 giving Catalans a 6 points head start at 4/6 and Castleford 11/10 giving up the six looks the one to go with, and backing the home side in this market could reap dividends.

Kirk Dixon has been the main man for the home side this season weighing in with 10 tries and he looks a fair price at 10/1 to score the first try.

Richard Owen at 12/1 has score his fair share as has Brett Ferres who has racked up five tries this season and looks too big at odds of 25/1.

For Les Catalans, Jean-Phillipe Baille and Steve Bell look fair shouts for first try glory both available at 14/1.

Castleford are terribly difficult to predict but the feeling is they can see of the French challengers who have a lot to do having lost their captain in such horrific circumstances.

A winning margin of 6-10 or 11-15 to the home side looks fair at odds of 5/1 and 13/2 respectively.

Should the Tigers win they will keep alive their very faint hopes of making the play offs and in turn heap more woe of the suffering Catalans side.

Castleford -6 points - 11/10
Brett Ferres to score first try - 25/1

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