Wigan Warriors V Salford Red Devils preview: Where to watch, previous meetings, and the three players set for landmark appearances

Wigan Warriors welcome Salford Red Devils to the DW Stadium on Friday night (K.O. 8pm).

Both sides head into the match on the back of narrow victories last time out.

Matty Peet’s side edged past Huddersfield Giants with a 14-12 win at the John Smith’s Stadium, with Bevan French going over for a brace and Jake Wardle claiming one against his former club.

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Here is some of the key information on the Giants ahead of Friday’s game:

Wigan Warriors welcome Salford Red Devils to the DW StadiumWigan Warriors welcome Salford Red Devils to the DW Stadium
Wigan Warriors welcome Salford Red Devils to the DW Stadium

The Opposition

Salford claimed a golden point victory against Wakefield Trinity in their previous outing.

Marc Sneyd was on hand in extra time to give the Red Devils a 14-13 win.

The scrum-half thought he had done enough with a late one-pointer in normal play, but the visitors fought back with one of their own to take the game beyond 80 minutes.

Paul RowleyPaul Rowley
Paul Rowley
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It was certainly a good test of character for Salford, who had also fallen behind during the first half.

The week prior to that, they had produced a huge 60-14 victory away to Hull FC, with Deon Cross, Shane Wright and Tim Lafai all crossing for braces.

Their other win this season came in their opener against Leigh, while they have suffered defeats against Hull KR and Warrington Wolves.

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Brodie CroftBrodie Croft
Brodie Croft

Key Men

Salford have a number of dangerous players in their squad.

This includes Ryan Brierley who has scored three and assisted two in the opening five games of the season.

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They also have the creative spark of last year’s Man of Steel Brodie Croft, with the scrum-half providing five tries so far for his teammates.

Ken Sio is also among Salford’s ranks, and will be looking to build on 26 tries he scored in Super League last year, while Joe Burgess is back available on the opposite wing.

The Red Devils will be without both Tim Lafai and Andy Ackers for this week’s game, while ex-Wigan prop Ollie Partington is also among those on the club’s injury list.

The Coach

Paul Rowley is in his second season at the AJ Bell Stadium.

During his playing career, he spent two stints with Leigh, as well as spending time with Halifax and Huddersfield.

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He became permanent head coach of the Centurions in 2012 and was named Championship Coach of the Season in his first year.

After leaving the club ahead of the 2016 campaign, he took over at Toronto Wolfpack.

He remained there for two seasons before departing.

In his first campaign with Salford he led them to a sixth place finish and the play-off semi-finals, where they were defeated by eventual champions St Helens.

Previous Meetings

The Warriors won all three meetings between themselves and Salford last season.

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They initially met in the sixth round of last season’s Challenge Cup, with Liam Byrne, Liam Marshall and John Bateman all going over in a 20-0 victory for Matty Peet’s side.

A month later, the pair met again at the DW Stadium in Super League, in what was a much closer contest.

Jai Field scored a late winner to give Wigan a 30-24 win.

Meanwhile, it was a more straightforward result at the AJ Bell Stadium in June, as Bevan French went over for a hat-trick in 30-12 victory.

Super League History

Wigan have won 47 of their Super League meetings with the Red Devils, with the biggest scoreline being a 70-4 victory back in 2001.

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Meanwhile, Salford have overcome the Warriors on eight occasions.

This includes their 2019 play-off semi-final win at the DW Stadium.

Throughout all their meetings, the Red Devils haven’t scored more than 31 points in a singular game against Wigan.

Form Guide

Wigan Warriors- W L W W L

Salford Red Devils- W W L L W

Where To Watch

The game between the two sides will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Arena, with coverage starting at 7.30pm.

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Wakefield Trinity’s meeting with Hull KR was the match originally scheduled for broadcast next week, but due to the recent issues regarding the playing surface at the Be Well Support Stadium, a change was requested by the RFL and RL Commercial.

A pitch inspection was passed earlier this week, meaning the fixture itself will still go ahead without any further alterations.

Landmark Appearances

A number of members of the Wigan squad will make landmark career appearances if they feature against Salford.

This includes Liam Farrell (350th), Willie Isa (300th) and Liam Marshall (150th).

Elsewhere This Weekend

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On Saturday, the Warriors Wheelchair reserves travel to South Yorkshire to take on Sheffield Eagles.

The two teams go head-to-head in the Championship at the English Institute of Sport (Coleridge Rd, Sheffield S9 5DA).

Meanwhile, later that evening there is an exciting event taking place at Robin Park Arena.

Sky Sports reporter Jenna Brooks Wigan Warriors Women’s season launch.

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The event will feature a night of live music, chat and presentations.

The following day, Kris Ratcliffe’s side continue their preparations for the new campaign with a friendly against Leigh Leopards at the home of Leigh Miners Rangers (K.O. 2pm).

Final Thoughts

Wigan’s victory over Huddersfield last week was certainly not the prettiest, but it demonstrated the desire in the squad.

They worked hard and defended pretty well, with patience required for chances to come their way.

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Jake Wardle certainly impressed and showed the qualities that he can bring to the side.

The last home game against Catalans was disappointing, and was difficult for a number of reasons.

While the conditions weren’t ideal; the Warriors just weren’t on it on the night, so they’ll be out to put things right in front of their home fans.

Salford are a tough side who are capable of winning this game, but do have a few players missing.

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On balance, Peet’s side should have enough to claim the two points, but will need to start strong to put themselves in the driving seat.