Warriors v Wolves: Teams
At the DW Stadium, Friday March 23, kick-off 8pm
Last Updated: 22/03/12 2:09pm
Brett Hodgson: could make his return from a back injury at the DW Stadium
Wigan and Warrington take centre stage on Friday night as two of Super League's heavyweights go toe-to-toe at the DW Stadium.
The Wolves did the regular-season double over the Cherry and Whites last season, including a 24-6 triumph on their travels last March.
However the Warriors did come out on top when the sides met in the Challenge Cup, ending the Wire's two-year reign in the competition with a 44-24 win in a thrilling quarter-final at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.
Wigan have no fresh injury concerns for their second successive home fixture following last Sunday's 42-30 victory over the London Broncos.
Head coach Shaun Wane has made just one alteration to his squad, Jack Hughes taking the place of fellow youngster Matty Russell.
Wigan half-back Brett Finch has indicated the Warriors will be aiming to put down a marker when they meet Warrington at the DW Stadium.
The winners of the clash of last year's top two finishing teams will leapfrog leaders Huddersfield, at least for 48 hours, and strike a psychological blow against one of their main title rivals.
"We missed a golden opportunity against Widnes a fortnight ago, when we let ourselves down there," said Finch.
"Even though it's early in the season and probably won't have a bearing on what happens at the end of season, it would be good for our confidence to get a win against a strong team like Warrington."
Warrington could well have Brett Hodgson available, with the full-back in contention to face the Warriors in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Hodgson, the 2009 Man of Steel, has missed his side's last two games with a back injury but has been included by coach Tony Smith in his 19-man squad.
"Brett is in and around the squad," first-team assistant coach Richard Marshall said. "I don't think he could have played last week but he has trained this week with a view to playing."
The visitors expect Lee Briers to shake off a hip problem and take his place in the half-back positions, while Michael Monaghan could also feature as he continues his return to action after a short lay-off for surgery.
Monaghan featured in the 32-30 win over Wakefield last Sunday after missing the previous two games following operations on both knees.
Marshall added: "I don't think he was too impressed with his own performance - by his own admission - but Wakefield had a really good go at him.
"His lack of match fitness showed but he is coming back from a double knee operation and he is pleased he got on the field and hopefully he will be better for the run."
Garreth Carvell is a certain absentee after suffering a neck injury in the loss at Leeds, Warrington's only reverse so far in the 2012 campaign.
Wigan: S. Tomkins, Charnley, Goulding, Carmont, Richards, Finch, Leuluai, Prescott, McIlorum, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin, Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Lauaki, Flower, Hughes, Spencer.
Warrington: Atkins, Blythe, C. Bridge, Briers, Cooper, Dwyer, Grix, Hill, Hodgson, McCarthy, J. Monaghan, M. Monaghan, Morley, Myler, Riley, Waterhouse, Westwood, Williams, Wood.
First Utility Super League
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington Wolves17 - 6Wigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds Rhinos46 - 18St Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants32 - 14Hull K R
Hull FC31 - 24Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils18 - 14Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers34 - 20Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St HelensvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K RvsHull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 26th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Warrington Wolves