Shaun Wane is preparing for an attritional battle in the forwards when his Warriors meet Hull FC in Friday’s Challenge Cup semi-final.
Wigan are aiming for a place in the Final next month which will give them a shot at a record-extending 20th Cup win, while Hull, three times Cup winners, are still seeking an elusive first win at Wembley
The sides collide with one win each in Super League so far this season, with Wigan edging Hull 26-25 back in March before the Airlie Birds’ 30-16 win at the DW Stadium in May.
The Yorkshire side sit at the top of the league table ahead of the start of the Super 8s.
And with Wigan potentially missing more than the seven players who missed last Friday’s loss to St Helens, Wane admits he has his work cut out.
“We will look at Hull in detail this week and it’s a different challenge to everyone else,” he said. “They are the form team at the moment and they have big middles.
“We’ll need to break that down.
“We’ve still got players out but we’ve had that all year and it’s not going away.
“It’s down to luck and we’ve had to bear the worst brunt of it – but we’ve managed it really well and are still high up in the league and in a Challenge Cup semi-final.
Wane is also not taking any chances with the choice of venue for the clash.
Wigan and their fans face an 82-mile journey on the M62, negotiating Friday evening traffic, while Hull’s journey will be shorter at 47 miles.
He said: “We’ll be going early. We’ll be in a hotel for the afternoon so the players can have a swim, relax and a sleep before the game.
“We can’t take any chances with our preparation because of what the outcome of this game means.
“It’s in a different place but I’m sure it will be a great atmosphere and I’d like as many Wigan fans as possible to get over there because it really does make a difference.”
Meanwhile, Warriors will find out their Super 8s fixtures this week.
Based on the Super League table after 23 rounds, they already know that they will be facing Saints, Wakefield, Catalans and Widnes at home, while facing away trips to Castleford, Warrington and Hull FC.
The dates of when they will play each side will be announced on Wednesday morning.