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Craig Porter 24th Jul 2009 - 15:45

Skipper Sinfield leads Rhinos at JJB tonight

Leeds welcome back Kevin Sinfield and Scott Donald to the squad as the Rhinos start favourites in the betting for Friday night's live Super League battle against the Wigan Warriors.

This is "The Big One", according to the Warriors' marketing team, and they are right. Ahead of Wigan's next two games, St Helens away and then Warrington in the Challenge Cup semi-final, it would be easy to overlook the significance of this fixture.

Many fans would gladly give Leeds the two points if it meant guaranteed victories against their arch-rivals and a trip to their spiritual home, Wembley.

Tickets at £10 per adult should boost the home support at the JJB (soon to be renamed DW) Stadium but Wigan coach Brian Noble is well aware that his team cannot afford to drop their guard:

"There'll be 22,000 people at the DW Stadium, for a big occasion like Leeds, and the players are focused and ready for it. They'll be energised. We have got ourselves into a position where our form and commitment is pretty good but we need to keep that going.

"The acid test for us will be against a good Leeds team. They have plenty of world-class players and you have to be ready to play and concentrate for 80 minutes.

"The one second you switch off, defensively or offensively, you miss an opportunity or they'll get you. You have to be very good at all times."

Wigan are on form, unbeaten in their last four since the shock defeat to Super League newcomers Celtic Crusaders but recent wins against Bradford last week and the Catalans Dragons the week before will have been physically and mentally draining.

The absence of influential Aussie forward Phil Bailey will be felt. Liam Farrell, the 19-year-old cousin of Andy, will deputise in the second-row but hasn't the experience or leadership.

Leeds are the only team ahead of the Warriors in the form table winning six from six and are a short but realistic 4/9 to win this game.

The Rhinos field pretty much a full-strength seventeen including returning winger Scott Donald and, down the other touchline, Ryan Hall. Tired Warriors will struggle to contain these flyers that can be backed at 10/1 (Hall) and 11/1 (Donald) to score the last try or 4/6 and 10/11 to score at anytime.

Last try scorer odds are the same as first try scorer but it will be a fired-up Wigan that will be first over the whitewash. Pat Richards, second to Ryan Hall in the Super League Try Scorer ladder, needs just 17 points to register his 1000th with the club. He has scored six tries in the last four and is 11/1 first or last try and Even Money to score a try at anytime.

Leeds are getting a reputation for slow starting. In three of their last six wins they have come back from being behind after 40 minutes making the Wigan half-time / Leeds full time double result price of 5/1 a tempter. Wigan, following their recent gruelling wins, will tire against a side as fit and quick as the Rhinos.

Whilst Leeds are rightly favoured for this game, I wouldn't recommend the 12/1 Winning Margin bet about Leeds repeating their 34-10 victory seen at Headingley earlier this season. The main handicap of Wigan plus six is about right and at 10/11 the home side are backable. If you prefer a little more security then Wigan (+10) at 8/15 is one of the alternative handicaps available.

A range of In-Play betting markets will be available on this match from kick off at 20:00 right through to the 80th minute if this live Super League clash on Sky Sports.

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