August Bank Holiday means one thing in rugby league – the Challenge Cup Final.
The two best teams in Super League face-off, but both have experienced drastically different recent form.
St Helens have been at their imperious best this year, while Warrington have struggled in recent months. However, when Abide with Me rings around Wembley, form matters for nothing and the best team on the day will win.
Our Rugby League expert guides you through the best bets from this weekend’s Challenge Cup Final.
Saints worthy favourites
St Helens have been spectacular this year, and are the worthy holders of the League Leaders Shield.
They have rested star players in recent weeks, and welcome back big-name players James Roby and Lachlan Coote.
Four of the top seven try scorers in Super League this season wear the red and white of Saints, and it will be difficult for Warrington to stop the attacking onslaught they are bound to face.
Saints are big odds-on favourites at just 3/10, in truth it is difficult to see any other outcome.
Warrington have it all to do
Warrington started the season like a train, and for many, there was a real expectation they would challenge Saints at the top of the table.
Unfortunately, injury and poor form hit at the worst time, and they are now a considerable number of games without a win.
The Wire, who lost at this stage last season to Catalans, welcome back Josh Charnley and Jack Hughes but are without talisman Blake Austin, who hasn’t recovered from ankle ligament damage. Warrington are 9/4 with Grosvenorsport.com.
St Helens wideman Tommy Makinson has been in sensational form this season, with 19 Super League tries, and is 9/1 to score first at Wembley. Jonny Lomax has also been incredibly effective and is 6/4 to score anytime.
Warrington haven’t had much to shout about in recent weeks, but Harvey Livett has been a consistent bright spot, and the young second row is 3/1 to score anytime.
Ultimately, Saints should have far too much for Warrington at Wembley, but like all cup finals, I expect it to be a cagey affair. Saints will claim their first Challenge Cup for 11 years, but it will be closer than you think. Back Saints to win by 12 or less at 13/8.
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