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Jon Riley 23rd Jun 2011 - 14:38

Plenty of reasons to Warri for wounded Saints

Warrington v St Helens | Friday 20:00 - live on Sky Sports

The Wolves bounced back from a shock home defeat against Salford a fortnight ago when recording a thirty point victory over Hull KR last week. That win ensured that Warrington remained at the summit of the Super League table, albeit level on points with the Huddersfield Giants. Local and historic rivals St Helens are next up for the Wolves, can they complete a first Super League double over their neighbours?

The match betting for this one would suggest so. The hosts are priced at 1/4 to keep the points and the bragging rights firmly lodged at the Halliwell Jones Stadium while Saints, brushed aside last week by a resurgent Wigan, can be backed at 11/4.

Royce Simmons will call on his side to show much better ball control and repeat their sets with much more conviction if they are to avoid another humbling at the hands of local foes. St Helens trailed Wigan by 26-0 at one point in a surprisingly one-sided derby match and the coach will know that another lacklustre performance will be seized upon by the high scoring Wolves and further humiliation could follow.

Warrington have prop Paul Wood back in the squad after he missed Sunday's win over Hull KR but Louis Anderson and Joel Monaghan remain sidelined going into this game. St Helens meanwhile are without the services of England entre Michael Shenton, an ankle injury sustained in the closing stages of last week's derby match ruling him out.

The spread for this match is set at 10 points, so Warrington -10 and St Helens +10 are both priced at 10/11.

The Wolves expected dominance is a far cry from recent history between the sides. Warrington's victory over Saints at the Stobart earlier on in the campaign finally broke a decade-long hoodoo that their rivals had held over them. 22 successive losses finally came to an end as Lee Briers touched down twice to secure his team a 25-18 victory. The veteran Briers has also found the try zone on both of his last outings and should be well fancied at 16/1 to score the first try here.

My recommendation for this game is for the home team to triumph. I think the Saints, still smarting from last week's defeat, will definitely aim to keep the match tight early on. I would back the second half to be the highest scoring half at 4/6 and for the Wolves to win by 11-15 at a price of 5/1.



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