Catalans Dragons will hope to boost their chances of winning the League Leaders’ Shield when they host Leeds Rhinos in the Betfred Super League on Saturday.
The French outfit are one of three teams who can win the League Leaders’ Shield, with Wigan Warriors currently top of the pile thanks to their superior points difference.
Catalans are breathing down their neck, while third-placed St Helens are also in the hunt with two matches remaining.
Visitors Leeds can still also reach the play-offs, but they need to win both of their matches and hope other results go their way.
Catalans are expected to cruise to victory this weekend, with Steve McNamara’s side 1/25 to collect the two points. The tie is 25/1, while Rohan Smith’s outfit are 10/1 to secure the win in Perpignan.
McNamara has Tyrone May and Matt Ikuvalu back available for his team’s last home match, meaning Arthur Mourgue and Mickael Goudemand drop out.
Rhinos coach Smith has a few injury woes ahead of kick-off, with Aidan Sezer, James Bentley, Richie Myler, Justin Sangare and Luis Roberts all unavailable.
Nene Macdonald is absent after returning to Australia for the birth of his child, while forward Sam Walters serves his one-match suspension. He is the only player to drop out of the squad that lost 50-0 to Wigan Warriors, and Tom Nicholson-Watton has been named as his replacement.
Leeds Rhinos +24 handicap @ 5/6
Catalans still have a realistic chance of winning the League Leaders’ Shield, but two defeats in three have given Wigan and Saints an opportunity to close the gap.
After setting the standard all season, the French outfit seem to have run out of steam, and while they should win on Saturday, the handicap market offers the better value for Leeds.
The Rhinos’ play-off hopes are as slim as they come, but the fact they have something to fight for is vital for Saturday’s clash. Leeds have won the last two matches between the two teams and they should be able to cover the +24 handicap this weekend.
Tom Johnstone to score anytime @ 1/2
Catalans winger Johnstone has personal honours to fight for this season, with the former Wakefield Trinity ace joint-top in the try scorer table.
Johnstone and Josh Charnley have scored 25 tries each, and Johnstone also has another record to chase. The 28-year-old needs three tries to equal Catalans’ record for tries in a season, a mark set by Morgan Escare in 2014.