Shaun Wane has warned his players to prepare for disruptive tactics from Widnes in Sunday’s showdown.
He expect Vikings coach Denis Betts - a former Wigan team-mate - to stick to the same blueprint which earned them two wins at the DW Stadium last year.
Widnes won 18-12 during the regular season and backed that up with an 8-6 victory in the Super-8s.
They got under the skin of their hosts and slowed down the ruck.
Their tactics didn’t go unpunished – they had two players sinbinned, three team-warnings and lost a penalty count 19-9 – but it proved successful.
And Wane said: “I imagine that’s what they’ll do again.
“Last time, they came with a lot of intent and maybe thought that if they sat back and let us attack, we would score points – which is true.
“Fair play to them, it worked well for them, and it’s up to us to be smart, and fix things on the run if we need to.”
Following the two-point loss last September, Wigan went on a five-game winning streak to clinch the title.
Meanwhile, Wane has carried out a detailed review of Friday’s 19-19 draw at Huddersfield, their eighth Super League game in a row without victory.
“We did some good things, but details in our defence proved costly,” he said. “They made too many easy metres and the knock-on effect was when we got the ball back, it was in bad field position.
“It’s something we let drift but we’ve worked on it before, and it’s a really easy fix.”
Joel Tomkins has a slight groin injury and is a doubt. Prop Tony Clubb is still expected to return.
Wane will make calls on Anthony Gelling and Taulima Tautai later this week.