Super League preview: St Helens v Catalan Dragons
Last Updated: 15/03/14 8:12am
High-flying St Helens could make it five wins from five this season with success over strugglers Catalan Dragons at Langtree Park on Friday.
While Nathan Brown's men have been brushing aside everything standing in their way in 2014 it has been the opposite story for the Dragons who have yet to garner a point from their opening four fixtures.
Saints made light work of Hull KR last week although the Dragons have a decent recent record at Langtree Park having won on each of their last two trips to the Super League giants.
Brown brings prop forward Anthony Walker into his squad but promising centre Mark Percival remains sidelined with a leg injury. Captain Paul Wellens is set to make the 500th appearance of his career with Jon Wilkin bringing up 350.
"It is unfortunate the amount of players that they have not been able to use," Brown told the St Helens Star. "We can only look at the ones that are coming.
"They have a number of forwards in particular who have achieved in both countries - Jeff Lima, Zeb Taia and Lopini Paea and a number of those French blokes with a lot of experience.
"We can only prepare for what is coming - and although it is not at full strength, it is nonetheless a very capable team."
The Dragons are without 10 players through injury and suspension and have axed Brent Webb and Jamal Fakir following their fourth consecutive defeat at Wakefield.
Half-back Thomas Bosc and prop Mickael Simon return from injury and reserve front-rowers Gadwin Springer and Maxime Scimone are in line to make their Super League debuts.
It has been a difficult season so far for the Dragons and head coach Laurent Frayssinous expects a positive response from his troops in the wake of Sunday's thrashing at Wakefield.
"We talked a lot since our return to France. Decisions have been taken and we have to move now. I expect a reaction from players at St Helens," he told the club's official website.
St Helens: Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Jones, Hohaia, Walsh, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Richards, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Swift, Walker.
Catalan Dragons: Escare, Pryce, Oldfield, Bosc, Lima, Taia, Mounis, Barthau, Pelissier, Whitehead, Pala, Simon, Paea, Baitieri, Baile, Vaccari, Garcia, Springer, Scimone.