Super League preview: Catalan Dragons v Wigan Warriors
Last Updated: 17/08/13 4:46pm
Wigan Warriors travel to Perpignan on Saturday to face Catalan Dragons as they continue their pursuit of Super League leaders Huddersfield Giants.
A period of inconsistency has seen the Warriors lose three of their last five outings and leaves them three points adrift of the Giants.
Similar form has seen the Dragons register just two victories in five as they look to consolidate their place in the play-offs with just three games to play.
Dragons head coach Laurent Frayssinous has made three changes to the side which edged Bradford Bulls 23-22 last time out.
Long-term absentees Frederic Vaccari and Scott Dureau make welcome returns having recovered from their respective injures.
Meanwhile, 20-year-old forward Benjamin Garcia has been recalled to the squad and looks set to make his Super League debut following his switch from Brisbane Broncos.
After suffering defeat at the hands of the Giants last week, Warriors coach Shaun Wane has been forced to make changes as the season run-in takes its toll.
Captain Sean O'Loughlin and centre Darrell Goulding will not make the trip across the Channel having sustained minor injuries.
Wane does however benefit from the services of full-back Sam Tomkins, scrum-half Matty Smith and prop Ben Flower, who are all expected to feature after missing out last weekend.
With a trip to Wembley to face Hull FC in the Challenge Cup final next Saturday, Wane admits the fixtures and pressure is piling up for the Warriors.
"Going to Catalan obviously the week before the Cup Final isn't ideal, we will miss a day's training before the Challenge Cup but it is how it's panned out and we just get on with it," he told the club's official site. "Catalan are a quality team and it is a tough place to go and we need be ready."
Despite the Warriors holding a nine-point advantage in the Super League table, it is the Dragons who have prevailed in the last three meetings between the sides.
Dragons: Webb, Blanch, Pryce, Bosc, Dureau, Elima, Henderson, Menzies, Mounis, Maria, Pelissier, Larroyer, Bousquet, Fakir, Paea, Duport, Vaccari, Whitehead, Garcia.
Warriors: Burke, Charnley, Crosby, Dudson, Farrell, Flower, Gelling, Green, Hansen, Hughes, McIlorum, Mossop, Richards, Smith, Taylor, Thornley, L. Tomkins, S. Tomkins, Tuson.