Warriors v Hull: Teams
At the DW Stadium, Friday August 2, kick-off 8pm
Last Updated: 02/08/12 5:04pm
Wigan can move a step closer to securing the Super League leaders' shield with a home victory over Hull on Friday night, live on Sky Sports.
The Cherry and Whites currently sit three points clear of nearest rivals Warrington, with the Wolves facing a tricky derby away at St Helens on Monday night before then hosting the Warriors next.
Yet there is some hope for Tony Smith's squad in the race to finish top as Wigan are currently struggling with injuries.
Coach Shaun Wane will be without six first-teamers, including skipper Sean O'Loughlin and half-back Brett Finch, for the game with the Airlie Birds.
"We need to go into the play-offs with a lot of momentum and it starts this weekend."
Shaun Wane Quotes of the week
Centre Darrell Goulding is also absent after being badly concussed in last Friday's 40-16 win over Castleford while Thomas Leuluai and Pat Richards are long-term absentees, though the duo are nearing a return to action ahead of the play-offs.
With so many out Wane has turned to some of the club's rising stars - teenage stand-off Sam Powell is set to make his debut while Jack Hughes will come into the centres to take Goulding's place.
"We need to go into the play-offs with a lot of momentum and it starts this weekend," the Wigan coach said. "At the back of my mind it's Warrington the week after but I'm desperate to win this game.
"It's a big game for us, although we probably won't be at our best this week because we've a few injuries."
Hull, meanwhile, could move up to fifth in the table if they can upset the Warriors, though they haven't tasted victory on their last six trips to the DW Stadium.
England winger Tom Briscoe is likely to continue at full-back after switching into the role in last Sunday's 34-26 win over Salford when Richard Horne pulled out with a groin injury.
Black and Whites boss Peter Gentle is hoping his side's recent run of success - they have won two on the spin to cement themselves firmly in the play-off positions - can continue on their travels.
"We don't want to be making up the numbers," he said. "We want to show we're in with a chance of winning the comp.
"Defensively we need to be a lot better. We're playing against the best team in the competition."
Gentle is sweating over the fitness of hooker Danny Houghton and forward Richard Whiting, though both have been named in his 19-man squad.
Wigan: S. Tomkins, Charnley, Carmont, McIlorum, Mossop, Hansen, Hock, O'Loughlin, Lima, Farrell, Tuson, Lauaki, Hughes, Powell, Crosby, Murphy, Lloyd, Thornley, Smith.
Hull: Aspinwall, T. Briscoe, Foster, Green, Houghton, Heremaia, Lineham, Lynch, Manu, Nicklas, O'Meley, Pitts, Seymour, McGoldrick, Turner, Westerman, Watts, Whiting, Yeaman.
First Utility Super League
Tue 30th Jun
Hull K R34 - 28Salford Red Devils
Wed 1st Jul
Wakefield Wildcats26 - 16Hull FC
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield 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