Warriors v Dragons: Teams
At the DW Stadium, Friday September 14, kick-off 8pm
Last Updated: September 16, 2012 12:26am
Wigan take on Catalan live on Sky Sports on Friday night with the victors 80 minutes away from a place in the 2012 Grand Final.
The first play-off round gets underway this week and it is the League Leaders' Shield winners who kick off proceedings against the Perpignan club, who finished fourth in the standings.
When the teams met at Montpellier in June in Super League action, Wigan ran out 36-14 victors. The Warriors have won three straight against the French side.
Wigan will be without hooker Michael McIlorum after he was handed a three-match suspension following his dismissal in last Friday's derby defeat to St Helens.
Mid-season signing Matty Smith may fill in for McIlorum with fit-again New Zealand international Thomas Leuluai set to retain his scrum-half spot.
Coach Shaun Wane's other obvious option would be fringe hooker Logan Tomkins, who made his breakthrough into the first-team earlier this year against Widnes.
Prop Epalahame Lauaki returns to Wane's 19-man squad after impressing in Wigan's Under-20s win last weekend against Hull.
"Catalan can beat anybody on their day, so we need to make sure our preparations are nailed on, we can't think two games on," commented Wane.
"I'm happy with how the players have stayed fresh, our physio has done a great job. If we win this weekend, we get a week off, which would be welcome.
"It's been a tough ask for the players, I've put them under the pump and under a lot of pressure, but the way that we've prepared them throughout the season, they'll be fit as fiddles this weekend."
The Dragons will be without playmaker Leon Pryce, who has recovered from injury and will miss the game.
Lopini Paea is set to make is return after coming in for young forward Antoni Maria, the only change to Robinson's 19-man squad that beat the Bradford Bulls last weekend.
Wigan: Carmont, Charnley, Dudson, Farrell, Fielden, Finch, Flower, Goulding, Hansen, Hock, Hughes, Lauaki, Leuluai, Lima, Mossop, O'Loughlin, Richards, Smith, S. Tomkins.
Catalan Dragons: Greenshields, Blanch, Sa, Bosc, Dureau, Ferriol, Henderson, Casty, Menzies, Anderson, Mounis, Raguin, Pelissier, Millard, Fakir, Paea, Baitieri, Duport, Cardace.