Shaun Wane has laughed off a suggestion tonight’s game is a decider in the battle of the borough stakes.
A tweet by Leigh last week claimed the record so far stands at one-win apiece this year – nodding to the fact the Centurions beat a young Wigan side 50-10 in a pre-season friendly.
Wane’s Warriors later won their home Super League contest 20-0.
“Leigh have said it’s 1-1, which is crazy – I didn’t know it was a Grand Final, that game,” Wane told his weekly press-conference at Wigan’s training ground in Orrell.
“It’s 1-0 to us at the minute, after the win at the DW.
“We don’t count the friendly, that’s just a mess-about game.”
Leigh are bottom of the Super League ladder and Wigan haven’t won any of their last six Super League games.
But Wane says the stakes have not been raised by the sides’ current form.
“I think if we’d both won our last three games, it’s still a very intense game,” he said.
“It won’t create any more desperation having the form that we’re in, and they’re in at the minute.
“This is a one-off game. The fact we beat them 20-0 won’t have any bearing on this game.
“It’s going to be two teams very committed on trying to get the win because it’s so important to everybody.”
Wane has a lot of admiration for the job done by coach Neil Jukes during Leigh’s first campaign in the top-flight.
And he is expecting a cauldron atmosphere at the Sports Village in front of the Sky Sports cameras tonight.
“It’s going be very, very aggressive, the atmosphere is going to be great,” he said.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a real full-blooded derby game at Leigh.
“So I think it’ll be a fantastic atmosphere.
“I just want to make sure we defend really well and get back to what we’re good at – that’s my main concern.
“One thing you need to do at Leigh, because of the crowd and the good atmosphere, is start really well and silence them.
“If you don’t, you put yourself under immense pressure.
“It means a lot to our town and it means a lot to Leigh as well, so it’s game on.”
Kick-off at the Sports Village is 8pm and the game is live on Sky Sports.
Wigan’s 19-man squad: Burgess, Davies, Fell, Field, Forsyth, Ganson, Gildart, Isa, Leuluai, Marshall, Mcilorum, Navarrete, Nuuausala, Sutton, Tautai, Tierney, Tomkins, Wells, Williams.
Leigh’s 19-man squad: Acton, Brown, Burr, Dawson, Drinkwater, Fleming, Hampshire, Hansen, Hood, Hopkins, McNally, Maria, Naughton, Paterson, Pelissier, Reynolds, Stewart, Tickle, Weston.
Referee: Robert Hicks