Why should I watch?

THE final three games of The Wire’s season suddenly got a lot more difficult.

While a trip to St Helens in the last game before the split always looked tricky, plenty of fans would have seen a home game against Catalans and a trip to Hull KR as pretty presentable.

Not anymore.

While thoughts will turn to a resurgent Rovers side next week, first they must deal with a red-hot Dragons side.

They arrive with 10 wins from their past 12 games – a run of form which has seen them go from looking doomed to another Middle 8s scrap to a good bet for a Super 8s spot.

Besides, after last week’s loss at Wigan, the need for victory is a whole lot greater for Wolves.

Warrington Guardian:

The defeat to Wigan increases the need for a Wire victory tonight. Picture by Mike Boden

What they’ve said:

“We want a really strong performance against a team that is playing some really good football.

“I think they have won 10 from their last 12 or something like that, so they are a team in form.

“They are doing really well since they brought Josh Drinkwater in.”

Steve Price, Warrington Wolves head coach

Warrington Guardian:

“We knew we were off at Wigan, but we gave it our all. We were just gutted with the manner of how it happened.

“The short turnaround has been good for us, because we haven’t had too much time to dwell on it.

“Catalans are in hot form at the minute so we’ve had to put all our concentration on them.”

Dec Patton, Warrington Wolves

Warrington Guardian:

Numbers game:

The Wire have won their past eight home games against Catalans.

They also became the first team ever to ‘nil’ the Dragons on home soil when they won 23-0 in Perpignan in March this year.

Warrington Guardian:

Catalans' last visit to The Halliwell Jones Stadium coincided with Ben Westwood's 400th Wire appearance. Picture by Mike Boden

Warrington team news:

Wolves are boosted by returns for Harvey Livett and Ben Pomeroy from injury – both of whom are expected to slot straight into the matchday 17.

Toby King is confirmed to be starting at right centre instead of Mitch Brown.

Squad: Sitaleki Akauola, Kevin Brown, Mitch Brown, Josh Charnley, Daryl Clark, Mike Cooper, Bryson Goodwin, Chris Hill, Jack Hughes, George King, Toby King, Tom Lineham, Harvey Livett, Declan Patton, Joe Philbin, Ben Pomeroy, Stefan Ratchford, Tyrone Roberts, Ben Westwood.

Warrington Guardian:

Harvey Livett returns from injury for The Wire tonight. Picture by Mike Boden

Catalans team news:

Steve McNamara has named an unchanged 19-man squad for the game at The Halliwell Jones Stadium.

That means the Dragons are likely to go with the same team that won 35-18 at Wakefield on Saturday.

Squad: David Mead, Brayden Wiliame, Fouad Yaha, Samisoni Langi, Remi Casty, Sam Moa, Louis Anderson, Benjamin Garcia, Greg Bird, Julian Bousquet, Mika Simon, Jason Baitieri, Michael McIlorum, Lewis Tierney, Benjamin Jullien, Tony Gigot, Mickael Goudemand, Josh Drinkwater, Kenny Edwards.

Warrington Guardian:

Benjamin Jullien makes his first return to The Halliwell Jones Stadium tonight. Picture by Mike Boden

One to watch:

Josh Drinkwater

It is no coincidence that the revival of Catalans’ fortunes began after recruiting Drinkwater.

Since he arrived, he has provided much-needed direction in the halves and has steered their humongous pack around the field.

With six tries, 12 assists and 33 goals for the Frenchmen so far, Drinkwater is undoubtedly one of Super League’s form players at the moment.

Match odds (via Betfred):

Warrington 2/5

Catalans 11/5

Draw 20/1

Essential info:

When: Thursday, July 12, 2018

Kick off: 7.45pm

Where: The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Mike Gregory Way, Warrington WA2 7NE

Warrington Guardian:

The Halliwell Jones Stadium

Match officials:

Referee: Ben Thaler

Touch judges: R Thompson, M Griffiths

Video referee: Phil Bentham

Matchday ticket prices:

North Stand: £32.50 adults, £23 concessions and young adults (aged 17-23), £14 juniors (aged 5-16), infants free, £90 family ticket.

East Stand: £27 adults, £19 concessions and young adults, £13 juniors, infants free, £77 family ticket.

South Stand: £23 adults, £17 concessions and young adults, £12 juniors, infants free.

How can I follow the game?

The Warrington Guardian will, as always, be providing extensive coverage of tonight’s game.

‘Matchday Live’ will be with you all evening up to the final hooter and beyond. Sports reporter Matt Turner will be in position at The Halliwell Jones Stadium to bring you all the build-up, match action as it happens and post-match reaction.

Keep an eye on our ‘Warrington Wolves – Warrington Guardian’ Facebook page for Matt’s live match preview and his ‘On The Hooter’ summary right on full time.

After the final hooter, we will bring you all the reaction from the Wolves camp, plus the chance to choose your man of the match in our poll and a photo gallery.