The table-topping Catalans Dragons host Wigan Warriors in Super League on Saturday, with the French club aiming to make another statement as they eye the League Leaders’ Shield.
The Dragons came from behind to beat Challenge Cup winners Leigh Leopards 30-18 last Saturday and are riding high on a four-match winning streak in the Betfred Super League.
As of writing, that places them four points ahead of both Wigan and St Helens, who head to Castleford Tigers on Friday.
The Warriors have found their form, racking up 108 points in their last two games and despite the forecast suggesting the potential for wet weather, look set to play their part in a bright and breezy contest.
Catalans have made one change to their squad, with prop Siua Taukeiaho back in the squad, replacing Matthieu Laguerre.
It is a similar story for the Warriors, who also make a single alteration, with Iain Thornley dropping out and Kaide Ellis back in the fold after serving a one-match suspension.
Catalans -8.5 handicap @ 20/21
Current form makes these sides challenging to split, but the Dragons’ have won both of the duo’s meetings this season and their ability to pile on the points sets them apart.
They are the competition’s top scorers by a decent distance – scoring 52 more than second-best Wigan – and after ending their 15-game winless run on the road with March’s 18-10 success at the DW Stadium, they ran riot in June’s 46-22 Magic Weekend victory in Newcastle.
Wigan ran in eight tries in last Friday’s 64-4 win over Hull KR and can themselves go big on the scoreboard.
That said, the Dragons have had the edge on them in 2023 and with the visitors having not won in Perpignan since 2020, Steve McNamara’s men can run out the decent winners again.
Tom Johnstone and Abbas Miski both anytime try scorers @ 2.6/1
Injuries have curtailed Tom Johnstone’s progress in recent years, but he looks reborn following his move from Wakefield Trinity to the Dragons and is thriving as part of their free-flowing attack.
Johnstone’s tally of 24 scores in 22 matches makes him the Betfred Super League’s leading try scorer and he scored a hat-trick in June’s Magic Weekend victory.
After failing to add to his haul in the victory at Leigh, he will have an added incentive to cross the whitewash and he shares his love for scoring tries with Wigan’s Abbas Miski.
The Lebanese international touched down four times in the win over KR and was also among the scorers at Magic Weekend.
These two could form a nice double to look out for in a game that, despite the weather being forecast to increase the error count, should see the tries flow.