I’ve never been one to sit on the fence… and I’m certainly not going to start now!

Saints are undeniably the top team in the Betfred Super League this year, and I just cannot see them coming unstuck against our closest challengers Warrington at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on Friday.

And while I have no doubts this will be a fiercely contested game – I’m going for a St Helens win by ten points (2/1 at Betfred).

Justin Holbrook’s boys are currently six clear of the Wolves at the top of the table and will be looking to extend that lead and virtually sew up the League Leaders’ Shield when they meet on Friday.

But according to the Wire marketing team, the hosts have other ideas!

As Saints fans will have seen during the home romp of Leeds Rhinos, a plane was sent over the Totally Wicked Stadium warning, ‘the Wolves are waiting…’ Let’s just see if they are brought back down to earth with a bang!

Both sides go into the game on the back of convincing home wins, with Saints defeating the lowly Rhinos 36-10, while Warrington took apart Wakefield Trinity by 30-6. So, I’ve no doubts we could be set for a classic – and possibly the best game of the season so far.

I’ve had a look at what I think are going to be the key battles and the potential match-winners on Friday.

Blake Austin vs Jonny Lomax

Two key indicators on offence. Usually, the ball goes in the vicinity of these two.

Austin is an obvious point-scoring threat as the current top try scorer in the Betfred Super League and also a big running threat to the Saints defence.

Lomax is playing probably the best rugby of his career. He’s a player with great skill and vision on the edges. Along with the outstanding Lachlan Coote, he’s definitely someone Warrington must control if they are to win.

Alex Walmsley vs Chris Hill

Two players who will be vying for a Great Britain prop jersey come October. Both key to getting their attack on the front foot allowing the flair players room to play.

Walmsley is for me – along with his Saints teammate Luke Thompson – one of the very best props in the game. A statement I know Hilly will be itching to prove wrong.

Daryl Clark vs Theo Fages

Both of these are major players in attack, albeit in very different roles. They’ve proven they are more than capable of winning games for their respective teams.

Clark is Wire’s devastating runner of the ball out of dummy half… he will be looking for any opportunities to go! Fages is enjoying an outstanding season, taking on big responsibility to direct the team and building pressure with his kicking game.

LMS v Ben Murdoch-Masila

I’ve picked these two, as no doubt this will be an extremely quick and intense battle, so impact players from the bench could be key. Both are powerful men, capable of breaking down defences and scoring tries.

Louie is an infectious character at the club and someone who can inject passion into a game. Two tries against the Rhino’s won’t do his confidence any harm.

Ben is an absolute mountain of a man, yet one of the quickest forwards in Betfred Super League, making him a danger to any defensive line. Saints must quickly get a grip of him when he comes off the bench.

With those mentioned only a handful of the quality players and battles on show, on top of two coaches who encourage free-flowing rugby and aggressive defence – I’m sure we’re in for a belter!

Speaking of coaches, it is great to see the powers that be at the club are keen to talk to Justin Holbrook about a new extended contract.

A no-brainer, and I’m sure I speak for all the players and fans alike in hoping the gaffer puts pen to paper ASAP.

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