Head coach Daryl Powell says Castleford Tigers are looking forward to Thursday’s clash at local rivals Wakefield Trinity as the visitors look to extend their lead at the top of the Betfred Super League (match betting – Wakefield 11/4, Draw 25/1, Castleford 3/10).
Castleford have been the standout performers in Super League this season, building a massive eight-point lead at the summit, having won 17 and lost just three of their 20 matches.
With 10 games of the campaign remaining – three in the regular season and seven in the Super 8s – the Tigers are on course to win the League Leaders’ Shield, but a place in the Grand Final at Old Trafford is the major aim.
Cas will need to keep their concentration levels high and have a difficult trip to rivals Wakefield, who are fifth in the table and just a point behind the Airlie Birds in fourth, on Thursday.
The visitors have made two changes to the 19-man squad who claimed victory over Hull FC on Friday night with Greg Minikin and Andy Lynch replacing Tom Holmes and Kevin Larroyer.
Englishman Greg Eden has been in sensational form this season, scoring 34 tries already, and is the 4/1 favourite to score the first try at Belle Vue on Thursday.
Speaking ahead of the match, Powell said: “It’s a derby match, Wakefield enjoy beating Castleford and Castleford enjoy beating Wakefield.
“It’s massive for the fans, and the players get a sense of it, particularly players who come from this area, as it’s obviously a close rivalry and we just look forward to the challenge.”
Wakefield, who are 50/1 to win the Grand Final, have named an unchanged 19-man squad after their impressive 26-12 victory over Warrington Wolves last Saturday.
Castleford won the clash against their neighbours at the Jungle last season 40-6 with England international Luke Gale, who has been in great form again this year, making six of his seven attempted goals.