SL preview: Leeds v Wakefield (Fri)

Leeds Rhinos and Wakefield Wildcats play the first match of their double-header, when the two Super League teams face-off at Headingley on Friday night.

The pair were due to meet earlier in the season at Wakefield, but snow caused the match to be postponed. That fixture will now be played during the Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-finals weekend.

Leeds, are currently fourth in the standings, six points adrift of Warrington, while the Wildcats are a point behind eighth-placed Hull FC.

Brett Delaney and Kylie Leulaui could be set to return or the home side, having been ruled out since the Castleford match with knee injuries.

The Rhinos are without a number of players through injury, including Mitch Achurch, Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Stevie Ward, Joe Vickery, Ryan Bailey, Danny McGuire and Kevin Sinfield.

Wildcats head coach Richard Agar has drafted both Kyle Trout and Bobbie Goulding into his 19-man squad ahead of Friday night’s short trip.

The young duo have featured for Doncaster and Dewsbury respectively in recent weeks, but both come into contention due to injuries to both Paul Sykes (broken leg) and Dean Collis (hamstring).

Trout scored his first senior try at Headingley in 2012, whilst it would be a competitive debut for Goulding should he get the nod to be part of the matchday seventeen.

Despite a number of players being out for Leeds, Wakefield’s Andy Raleigh has rejected talk that it is a good time to line up against McDermott’s men.

Paul Sykes has been a stand-out player and he has just broken his leg. Every club gets injuries and I think to say it’s a good time to play Leeds would be wrong,” Raleigh told the Wakefield Express.

“It tests your squad, but they have got a great squad and a history of bringing young players through.

Leeds 19-man squad: Hardaker, Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Ablett, Delaney, Kirke, Clarkson, Moore, Keinhorst, Singleton, Sutcliffe, Minns, Foster.

Wakefield 19-man squad: Mathers, Fox, L. Smith, Cockayne, T. Smith, Poore, Aiton, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Amor, Wilkes, Mariano, Trout, Lyne, Wildie, Goulding, Annakin.

Prediction: Leeds will have too much for Wakefield even with their injury problems. Home win.

Stats:

Leeds have won their last seven home meetings with Wakefield. The Wildcats’ last win at Headingley was 23-16 on 20 July, 2007.

Super League summary:

Leeds won 29 (includes win in 2012 play-offs)

Wakefield won 5

Leeds highest score: 70-6 (A, 2005) (also widest margin)

Wakefield highest score: 44-28 (A, 2005) (Widest margin: 38-18, H, 2012)

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