DARYL Powell has a couple of key decisions to make in naming his Warrington Wolves side to face Salford Red Devils this evening.

Here's sports reporter Matt Turner's thoughts on the route he may take...

YOUTH or experience – that is the question Daryl Powell is contemplating as he ponders George Williams’ replacement in the Warrington Wolves side.

When Gareth Widdop was forced out of the trip to Toulouse Olympique back in February, youngster Riley Dean was given the chance to shine and performed solidly in the last game The Wire actually won.

As the only other specialist half-back in the side, logic would dictate he will be the one to replace Williams, who sits out with an abdominal injury.

However, with Powell admitting he is leaning towards a more experienced hand on the tiller as his side bid to end a wretched run of form, it appears Stefan Ratchford will rekindle a half-back partnership with Widdop that appeared plenty of times during 2021.

While a shortened pre-season will not have helped, it is fair to say Widdop is yet to get close to the form than saw him sweep the club’s player of the year award last year. Now would be the perfect time to start.

With Ratchford looking like being used elsewhere, it creates a conundrum at full-back.

Peter Mata’utia played much of the defeat to Hull KR there, but he will surely play at centre as Connor Wrench’s injury means there is no like-for-like replacement.

That means it will likely be between Josh Thewlis, who started the loss at Craven Park at full-back before being moved to the wing, and Matty Ashton for the number one spot.

It could go either way and while plenty of fans are longing to see Ashton given a run at the back, Powell has spoken well of his displays out wide so far this year.

For that reason, I forsee him returning on the wing and Thewlis getting the nod again at full-back, with the option there for them to swap.

Up front, Oliver Holmes’ absence through injury has opened up a spot in the second row, which could be filled by one of the “Ellises” – Longstaff and Robson.

With two games in four days, it may well be that both feature at some point over the weekend but I think Robson will get the nod for tonight.

So with all that in mind, my predicted Wire line-up for tonight is as follows:

Thewlis; Charnley, Mata’utia, King, Ashton; Widdop, Ratchford; Mulhern, D Clark, Cooper, Robson, Currie, Hughes. Subs: Philbin, Bullock, Magoulias, D Walker