SL Preview: Widnes Vikings v Catalans Dragons

Widnes will be hoping to recover from a surprise defeat to Salford when they entertain Catalans Dragons this weekend.

The Vikings lost to Brian Noble’s side as part of last week’s Magic Weekend event and now find themselves right back in the battle for the wooden spoon. 

Catalans did their top four aspirations the world of good with an impressive win against London Broncos at the Etihad Stadium and could be as high as third by the end of play on Sunday. 

Widnes coach Denis Betts is without forwards Ben Cross, Hep Cahill, Patrick Ah Van and Alex Gerrard, with all four forwards still sidelined with injuries. On-loan Garreth Hock is also unavailable as he serves the third match of a four-game suspension.

Louis Anderson, Julian Bousquet and Lopini Paea all picked up knocks in the win against London and will the Dragons’ miss the trip to Widnes. Brent Webb, Olivier Elima and Jason Baitieri are still recovering from injury and will also miss the game. Catalan head coach Laurent Frayssinous is boosted by the return of Jean-Philippe Baile and Antoni Maria and could hand a debut to young reserve team loose forward Thibaut Margalet.

Widnes Vikings 19-man squad: Allen, Brown, Clarke, Dean, Flynn, Hanbury, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Lawton, Leuluia, Marsh, Mellor, O’Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Pickersgill, White, Winterstein.

Catalans Dragons 19-man squad: Pryce, Taia, Bosc, Dureau, Henderson, Casty, Menzies, Mounis, Pelissier, Maria, Larroyer, Millard, Simon, Fakir, Duport, Vaccari, Baile, Escare, Margalet. 

Prediction: Catalan’s top four ambitions are serious and they will improve their chances with a win at Widnes – Catalan win. 

Super League summary: 

Widnes won 0

Catalan Dragons won 3

Widnes highest losing score: 34-42 (H, 2012)

Catalan Dragons highest score: 76-6 (H, 2012) (also widest margin)

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