The Warriors have still not lost a game so far this season and Hull will be hoping that they can put an end to that run at the DW Stadium.
Wigan battled to a 16-16 draw against Huddersfield last Sunday to ensure that they remained unbeaten in the first five games of the Super League season and they’ll be hoping to continue this streak on Friday.
However, Hull will have other ideas. After winning the Challenge Cup last year and narrowly missing out on a trip to the Grand Final, (losing to their opponents this week, the eventual winners) they’ve started this new campaign well again.
They’ve already beaten St Helens 24-14 this season and lost just the one game to Catalans by two points.
They’ll be determined to claim a victory against the current league leaders this week, especially with the Warriors currently weakened due to a number of injuries.
Wigan have a number of key players currently out of action. Against Huddersfield, they lost captain Sean O’Loughlin, who is set to sit out the next two weeks with a calf injury. In addition, they are also without Sam Tomkins, Joe Burgess, Lewis Tierney, John Bateman, Liam Farrell and Jack Wells. Oliver Gildart was expected to be back in the fold this week but he too remains sidelined and has been left out of the 19-man squad.
It’s meant that Shaun Wane has had to turn to his youngsters and rely on them to produce the results – and so far they haven’t done too bad of a job of it.
Liam Marshall has come in on the wing and bagged four tries against Warrington. Tom Davies was also brought in against Huddersfield and bagged himself a try in the draw.
Liam Forsyth has also had to feature in the Warriors last two games.
Nick Gregson, Josh Ganson and Callum Field have all been brought into the squad as well ahead of the game against Hull.
Hull do have missing players themselves, with Carlos Tuimavave and Fetuli Talanoa both missing out on the squad this week. They too have brought a youngster into the equation this week, with Brad Fash being called into the squad for the first time this season.
The last time the two sides faced off was to secure a place in the Grand Final and that game ended in victory for Wigan, as they claimed a 28-18 win. However, since the start of the 2016 season, the results have been pretty even, with the Warriors winning three of the fixtures and Hull the other two.
Looking further back to results since the start of 2015, the scales tip even more in Wigan’s favour. They’ve contested eight games and the Warriors have won six of those ties since then, with Hull winning just the two.
When it comes to games at the DW Stadium between the two since the start of 2016, the results have actually gone in favour of the away side. In the three games with the Warriors at home, Hull won twice with Wigan just once – although that victory was crucial, as it was the one that took Shaun Wane’s men to Old Trafford.
Wigan will be hoping this Friday has a similar result to that semi-final last year.
Morgan Escare (Wigan Warriors) – Escare has been a man transformed since his move to the DW Stadium. He’s quickly become a key player for the club and it’s led many to question whether Sam Tomkins would even get in the side when he is available again. He’s done a tremendous job at the back for Wigan, with some tremendous runs and defensive work as well. He’s even nabbed himself a try and has taken on kicking duties for Shaun Wane’s men as well. If he has another stand-out game on Friday, then he could lead his side to yet another victory.
Albert Kelly (Hull FC) – Kelly has been on fire in recent games for Hull. He has bagged six tries in four games for the club so far this campaign and picked up 2 Man of the Match awards while he has been at it. It’s this kind of form that will make him a threat against Wigan on Friday. If the Warriors defence gives him even a tiny amount of space, then he could make them pay. With three braces in his last three games, he could get on the scoresheet again this weekend.