Sunday’s semi-final feels like a huge game in the context of both side’s seasons – though you wouldn’t think it judging by a very minor Twitter spat about how many fans are going to be there from each club as Wigan Warriors face Salford Red Devils.
The Warriors know this is their best chance of silverware given the effect injuries and poor results have had on their Super League campaign, while Salford’s season has hit the buffers a little but they still occupy fourth place by the skin of their teeth.
Given how much rides on this game for both sides no-one should underestimate the kind of performances both sides could serve up. Wigan are looking to enhance their impressive record in this competition while Salford are looking to reach their first Challenge Cup final since 1969.
Wigan go into the game as favourites and they will have been boosted by the return of Joel Tomkins and Liam Farrell to their 19-man squad – bringing them close to full strength and perhaps offering a little more potency in attack.
You can get them at 2/5 while the Red Devils are as long as 13/5. They’ve been sweating on the fitness of Robert Lui – who has been included in their squad along with Manu Vatuvei who could make his debut on the wing. Fellow new signing Tyrone McCarthy could also feature.
On the handicap, Salford have been given an eight-point start with the bookies. You can get Evens on Wigan to cover it – though Stan James after offering a 10-point start at 10/11. Others bookies are offering 11/10 on Wigan -10 – and if they click we wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors did so we’d give that bet a go.
They’re not at the level they want to be but they’ve won three of their last five games since their quarter-final win over Warrington – while Salford have lost four of their last five.
The head-to-head this season has seen both sides claim a victory – and the margin of victory has been into double figures.
Wigan to win by 11-15 points is available at 17/2, while Salford to cause an upset by the same margin is 20/1.