The opening round of the new Super League season continues on Friday night when another two matches take place with four sides getting their campaign underway on an evening where a couple of title contenders can show their credentials.
We have one match on the TV to enjoy on Friday evening and I would imagine the TV coverage will have plenty of regular updates for the other game for those who do not have a ticket for it so we can keep fully informed of what is happening. We’ll begin the preview with the TV game even though it is the later of the two to kick off.
Leigh Leopards vs Salford Red Devils (20.00 – Sky Sports Arena)
The TV cameras head to the Leigh Sports Village on Friday evening as the newly branded Leigh Leopards return to the Super League. Their first game back is a home match against the Salford Red Devils who will be out to build on their positive campaign last season.
This is a big night for the Leopards, not least because it is their first game back in the Super League but because they have invested strongly in a squad which they hope will make them more than competitive at this level. We know the Red Devils are competitive at this level. They were 80 minutes from Old Trafford last season and have the chance here to show that they are at that level once again and are ready to launch another tilt at the title. I look at these two squads and I’m expecting to see some exciting rugby here. We know that Salford will give the ball some air and look to overwhelm their opponents with dazzling footy but this Leigh back line can certainly convert opportunities themselves should their forwards get them into position to strike. The consensus is that teams usually have to work their way into the season offensively with combinations needing time to click but Salford will work religiously on their attacking play and there are some excellent attacking players in the Leigh squad too. The points line for this match is 41.5 but that feels a little low to me. We saw on Thursday evening what can happen when a defence gets overwhelmed and I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens here too. I like the over in this one.
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Wakefield Trinity vs Catalans Dragons (19.30)
The match away from the TV cameras comes from Belle Vue where Wakefield Trinity begin what many judges expect will be a season which ends in relegation when they play host to a Catalans Dragons side who could be in limbo at present.
The Dragons have been one of the permanent fixtures towards the top of the table over the last few seasons but they have lost a lot of big hitters over the close season and haven’t really gone deep into their resources to replace them all. There is no doubt in my mind that the Dragons will be weaker this season but just how weak remains to be seen. The same sentiments can be said of Wakefield who simply have to be weaker with the quality that exited their squad in the winter. These are two teams with plenty of questions to answer and I’ll watch them for a week or two in the hope we get those questions answered and can form some strong opinions on them.
Back Leigh Leopards vs Salford Red Devils – Over 41.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 2.00 with Bet365
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