After one of the most competitive Betfred Super League campaigns of the summer era, we have finally reached the biggest night of all.
The Grand Final is finally here and over 60,000 spectators are expected to pack into Old Trafford to see Wigan Warriors take on Catalans Dragons at 6pm on Saturday.
Wigan finished top of the tree to claim the League Leaders’ Shield, but they will be pushed all the way by Catalans, who had spent most of the season atop the pile.
Wigan are 4/6 to be crowned Super League champions at Old Trafford on Saturday, while Catalans are available at 6/4. A tie in 80 minutes is a 14/1 shot.
Liam Marshall and Tom Johnstone, who are looking to add to their 27-try tally for the season, are 6/5 and 5/4 respectively to score anytime.
Wigan boss Matt Peet does not have too many injury concerns but he will be boosted by the availability of Ethan Havard, who returns from a hamstring injury.
The forward has proved his fitness after surgery and replaces Cade Cust, who has likely played his last game for the Warriors with his contract expiring at the end of the season.
Catalans boss Steve McNamara has named the same 21-man squad that beat St Helens 12-6 in last week’s semi-final.
Saturday’s showpiece will be the final game of Sam Tomkins’ illustrious career, while Mitchell Pearce will also call time on his career after a successful few years in Perpignan.
Wigan to win @ 4/6
Wigan’s form since July has been almost faultless, with their only blip coming against Hull KR in the Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Peet’s side have won their last ten Super League matches and have looked unstoppable in the final months of the season.
They have posted points for fun in that time and have scored at least 40 in three of their last four matches.
They were also dominant in their last meeting with the Dragons, winning 34-0 away from home in August.
Wigan may not have won the Grand Final since 2018, but they have firepower across the park and could prove too hot for Catalans to handle.
Over 30.5 total points @ 10/11
While the Dragons are expected to fall short, McNamara’s French raiders should at least make a game of it at Old Trafford.
Catalans have been one of the most consistent teams throughout the 2023 season and they will hope to go one better than they did in 2021, when they lost to St Helens on their only other Grand Final appearance.
McNamara’s side have not scored more than 20 points in their last two matches but they will be doing all they can to ensure retirees Tomkins and Pearce go out on a high.
Dragons winger Tom Johnstone has the ability to score from anywhere on the pitch, so expect a game full of points as the two best teams in Super League this season do battle for the biggest prize in European rugby league.