SL Preview: Catalan v Widnes

Widnes are without Gareth Hock and Kevin Brown as they look for a first ever victory over Catalan.

The Vikings travel to Perpignan without the ex-Wigan pair through suspension and injury respectively, for only the third ever meeting between the two sides.

They suffered a club record defeat in the same fixture last season, going down 76-6.

Catalan remain without half-back Scott Dureau, while Brent Webb has also been ruled out for between four and six months with a back injury.

Julian Bousquet returns to the squad following his four match suspension, and William Barthau is in contention for his first Super League appearance of the season.

Catalan 19-man squad: Blanch, Pryce, Taia, Bosc, Elima, Henderson, Casty, Menzies, Anderson, Mounis, Barthau, Pelissier, Larroyer, Millard, Pala, Simon, Bousquet, Fakir, Baitieri.

Widnes 19-man squad: Ah Van, Allen, Briscoe, Clarke, Cross, Davies, Dean, Flynn, Gerrard, Gore, Hanbury, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Mellor, O’Carroll, White, Winterstein.

Prediction: Will be a lot closer than last year, but expect the Dragons to prevail – home win.

Stats:

Widnes are seeking their first ever win against the Dragons, having lost all three previous meetings between the sides (2012’s two Super League fixtures and a 2006 Challenge Cup tie).

Jon Clarke needs one appearance to reach 350 for his career.

Clarke has played for Wigan (28 games, 1997-1999), London Broncos (32 games, 2000-2001), Warrington (263 games, 2001-2011) and current club Widnes (24 games, 2012-2013). He also represented Great Britain twice in 2007.

Super League summary:

Catalan Dragons won 2
Widnes won 0
Catalan Dragons highest score: 76-6 (H, 2012) (also widest margin)
Widnes highest losing score: 34-42 (H, 2012)

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