Adrian Lam is confident the return of senior reinforcements will plug Wigan’s leaky defence – against a St Helens side he rates “miles ahead”.
Sean O’Loughlin, Ben Flower and Joe Greenwood all return to provide Lam with a timely boost after back-to-back losses.
Wigan have had bright spells in both of their most recent losses but they’ve also had lapses, conceding four tries in six minutes against Wakefield – and as many tries in 13 minutes at Castleford – to throw away winning positions.
And Lam said: “We’re playing some good rugby at times but we’re losing concentration. I do think with some experienced players back, that’ll be fixed quite quickly. Saints are playing great footy and they’re miles ahead but we’re looking forward to it.
“Saints are the favourites but in these games, in my experience, it’s not really about form.”
Wigan are 10th in the table having won just three of their opening 10 matches, but key figures in the Saints camp believe that table gives a false impression.
“They’re a dangerous side, they have strike everywhere,” said England prop Alex Walmsley.
“They’re not in the league position but we won’t bear that in mind, we know how good they are – they’re a world class side and they’ll be there at the back end of the season, I’m sure about that.”
Coach Justin Holbrook, a former Sydney Roosters colleague of Lam’s, added: “I think what has made it difficult for Lammy has been the side changing a fair bit and not being settled.
“They’ve shown in some games – round one against us, they were outstanding against the Roosters in the World Club Challenge, and the Catalans game, too – that they’re as dangerous as any other side on their day.
“They’ll not be happy with where they’re sitting after 10 rounds, but we’ve seen what they are capable of. In any sport, any derby you know the two sides want to win more than anything and both will be prepared to play each other at their best.”
More than 20,000 tickets have already been sold. Kick-off tomorrow is 3pm.