The Rhinos' charge has begun
Castleford v Leeds - 17:15 - live on Sky Sports 1
After back to back wins over the Easter period, and a number of key players returning to the first team fold, the Leeds Rhinos (4/11, 80 minute betting) will be full of confidence heading to the PROBIZ Coliseum.
The Rhinos and England forward Jamie Peacock has been named in the squad for this Yorkshire derby after eight frustrating months on the sidelines following a knee operation that curtailed his involvement in the 2010 campaign. The Judge's comeback comes just a week after another Leeds stalwart, Danny McGuire, returned to action after a two month lay-off. Peacock is priced at 33/1 to cross the try line first while McGuire can be backed at 12s to score the first try.
Lee Smith and Ben Cross could also be available to coach Brian McDermott but the former Harlequins boss will face a hard decision to change a team that beat local rivals the Bradford Bulls 30-22 then followed that up with a 34-16 victory over the Crusaders.
In the first of those matches the Rhinos would have covered the match handicap of -7.5 points on offer here at 4/5 while in the second they would have covered the alternative handicap of -16 available at 9/4.
Castleford (2/1, 80 minute betting) will be keen to use this derby clash against Leeds to get back to winning ways after a winless spell over Easter that has seen them fall to fifth place in the Engage Super League. The Tigers still sit one place and two points above the Rhinos with a game in hand but coach Terry Matterson will know what a shot in the arm a win here would be for his team.
Cas will be missing the talents of prop Craig Huby, who faces at least four months out with a fractured patella. Huby suffered the injury during the Tigers' narrow 22-20 defeat to St Helens on Monday and is the club's third front row forward to be sidelined.
Young prop Nathan Massey has been drafted in for what could be his first start of the season and he could be joined by the experienced Aussie Ryan McGoldrick. The 30-year-old McGoldrick missed only five matches in three seasons following Castleford's return to Super League in 2008 and in that time became a virtually indispensable member of the team. This season has been disrupted by injury and tabloid articles, but he‘ll be hungry to prove any critics wrong. The utility man is priced at 20/1 to notch the first try.
Leeds have tasted victory on their last two visits to the Jungle and have lost only once in six meetings against them. I would be recommending the Leeds/Leeds selection in the double result market at 8/11 and Leeds to win by 6-10 points at 9/2.