Why should I watch?

Following Sunday’s Challenge Cup semi-finals, this game now has an added dynamic.

For now, two Super League points are at stake, but players on both sides will be keen to impress and earn a place for when these two next meet – at Wembley in just over two weeks’ time in the Challenge Cup Final.

Steve Price and Steve McNamara have made changes – the latter moreso – but it provides a chance for players on the fringes to stake a claim.

While St Helens may be over the hill and far away when it comes to the League Leaders’ Shield, The Wire are still very much in the hunt for second place and an all-important home play-off tie.

With main rivals Wigan and Castleford playing each other tonight, Price and his players will see this as a golden opportunity to put a dent into at least one of them.

Action from The Wire's 22-22 draw with Catalans Dragons. Picture by Mike Boden

Josh Charnley streaks away to score during the 22-22 draw between Wolves and Catalans on July 12. Picture by Mike Boden

What they’ve said:

“We’re in the four at the moment, but we’re trying to push for that top two.

“Our challenge is Friday night against a team that’s playing some really, really good football.

“I think St Helens have the League Leaders’ Shield now, but it’s a perfect opportunity for us to go out and grab second.”

Steve Price, Warrington Wolves head coach

Action from The Wire's 22-22 draw with Catalans Dragons. Picture by Mike Boden

"Last year we were in the Million Pound Game and this year we're at Wembley.

“It's been a fantastic turnaround and the players have worked extremely hard.

"We've got three weeks to get ready for the final and we'll use that time to hopefully put in a performance like we did on Sunday.”

Steve McNamara, Catalans Dragons head coach


Numbers game:

The Halliwell Jones Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Catalans Dragons.

Indeed, Warrington are unbeaten in their past nine home meetings with the French side.

Catalans last won on this ground way back in April 2011, when they recorded a 22-20 victory.

Action from The Wire's 22-22 draw with Catalans Dragons. Picture by Mike BodenLast month's draw extended Catalans' winless run at the home of The Wire to nine matches. Picture by Mike Boden

Warrington team news:

Steve Price has elected to make three changes to his squad for tonight’s game, with Stefan Ratchford, Mike Cooper and Ben Murdoch-Masila all rested.

Bodene Thompson will make his Wire debut and is likely to fill Murdoch-Masila’s place on the interchange bench.

Mitch Brown is set to step in at full-back, with Sitaleki Akauola the most probably candidate to replace Cooper in the front row after recovering from illness.

Morgan Smith is also drafted into The Wire’s 19-man squad, meaning Daryl Clark could also be withdrawn if necessary.

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

Bodene Thompson gets his first look at The Halliwell Jones Stadium. Picture: Warrington WolvesBodene Thompson will make his Wire debut tonight. Picture by Warrington Wolves

Catalans team news:

The Dragons have elected to leave seven players who starred in Sunday’s semi-final victory over St Helens in France.

Influential half-back Josh Drinkwater, mercurial full-back Tony Gigot and ex-Wire forward Louis Anderson have been left out along with Sam Moa, Julian Bousquet, Benjamin Jullien Lewis Tierney.

Greg Bird is also missing after his appeal against a four-match ban for dangerous contact was dismissed. The Australian forward will also miss the Challenge Cup Final meeting between the two sides.

Squad: David Mead, Iain Thornley, Brayden Wiliame, Fouad Yaha, Samisoni Langi, Remi Casty, Ben Garcia, Mickael Simon, Vincent Duport, Jason Baitieri, Thibaud Margalet, Michael McIlorum, Lucas Albert, Antoni Maria, Alrix Da Costa, Lambert Belmas, Ugo Perez, Mickael Goudemand, Kenny Edwards.

Former Wire forward Benjamin Jullien is one of seven players rested by Catalans. Picture by Mike Boden

One to watch:

Michael McIlorum

While a number of Catalans’ stars are being rested, the hooker is being wound up to go again.

A serial tormentor of Warrington over his years with Wigan, McIlorum is a perfect mix of brains and brawn.

Working with a platform built by the Dragons’ impressive pack, the Ireland international will be key not just tonight, but at Wembley as well.

Match odds (via Betfred):

Warrington 3/10

Catalans 11/4

Draw 25/1

The Wire won 23-0 in Perpignan in March. They are odds-on with Betfred to do the same tonight. Picture by Mike Boden

Essential info:

When: Friday, August 10, 2018

Kick off: 7.45pm

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

Match officials:

Referee: Ben Thaler

Touch judges: D Bowmer, A Martin

In goal officials: M Smaill, D Arnold

Ben Thaler will referee tonight's game. Picture by Mike Boden

Matchday ticket prices:

North Stand: £32.50 adults, £23 concessions (aged 65 and over) 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 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 ‘On The Hooter’ summary right on full time.

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