Leeds welcome back Kevin Sinfield and Kylie Leuluai, both of whom missed last weeks last gasp win over the Dragons but will be without Carl Ablett and Mitch Achurch who both picked up knocks (shoulder and groin) in the last outing. Robbie Ward and Elliot Minchella are both called into the Rhinos squad which also features Luke Briscoe who could well be asked to face up to his recent team-mates from a spell on-loan at Belle Vue earlier in the season.
While last weeks win will have been draining physically, it must have given the lads a massive psychological lift to have; won at the last gasp, come from behind in a game where we were behind for extended periods, and beaten a improving side without the skipper on the field.
The coaches full ninteen is; Jones-Bishop, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Leuluai, Aiton, Peacock, Sinfield, S Ward, Delaney, Bailey, T Briscoe, Sutcliffe, Singleton, Minchella, Walters, R Ward, and L Briscoe.
Wakefield coach Webster find himself stripped of the services of captain Danny Kirmond who was injured in last weeks draw against Hull FC. He has brought back Rhinos loan player Jimmy Keinhorst after a frustrating season with injury and has drafted in youngster Max Jowitt who would make his Superleague debut if selected.
It is a Wakefield side with five ex-Rhinos, the likes of McShane, Keinhorst and Richard Moore, who all have a big point to prove. Wakefield raise their game a notch when they take on their big city rivals, and tonight will be no exception.
The full nineteen is; Mathers, Riley, D Smith, Keinhorst, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Gilmour, Jowitt, Washbrook, Ryan, Owen, Moore, T Smith, Tautai, Lyne, Scruton, and Raleigh.
The Rhinos have won the vast majority of Superleague regular round matches against the Wildcats having been victorious in thirty-two and losing just five, a win percentage of eighty-six.
Our last visit to Belle Vue was in the cup earlier this year when we demolished the home side by 60-6, teh following week the Wildcats vivited Headingley in the league and managed to keep the score down to 42-6, but the Wildcats seem to be a totally different prospect at the moment.
This match is likely to be a lot closer than the early season meetings.
The bookies have given the Wildcats a fourteen point start on the coupon and I'm hopeful that we'll win more comfortably than that, but it is unlikley to be a massacre. We're boosted by the return of Sinfield, although Sutcliffe stepped up to the plate and kicked a tough goal under immense pressure last Sunday.
The forecast is for rain from late afternoon which will last throughout the match and probably be more to Wakefields liking than ours and could make the contest a little closer than it would be on a fine evening.
Travel safe and enjoy the match...