• Online Now:
  • 0
  • Players
  • 0
  • Tournaments

Challenge Cup final: Saints to see off wounded Wolves

Challenge Cup Final Preview and Predictions

St Helens are firm favourites to claim their first Challenge Cup trophy in 11 years when they take on serial finalists Warrington Wolves under the arch of Wembley on Saturday.

Warrington are playing in their sixth final in 10 years but have lost on their last two appearances in north London (2016 and 2018) after winning the competition in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Saints are 16 points clear at the top of Super League with the League Leaders' Shield safely secured for the second year in a row, while Warrington head into Saturday on the back of five successive league defeats.

Match information

When is it? Saturday 24th August

What time is kick-off? 15:00

Where is it being played? Wembley

Which channel is it on? BBC One

Who is the referee? Robert Hicks

Challenge Cup final betting tips

Here are our best tips for the Warrington vs St Helens match for which we have a range of other markets available:

The lowdown

St Helens are firm favourites to claim their first Challenge Cup trophy in 11 years when they take on serial finalists Warrington Wolves under the arch of Wembley on Saturday.

Warrington are playing in their sixth final in 10 years but have lost on their last two appearances in north London (2016 and 2018) after winning the competition in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Saints are 16 points clear at the top of Super League with the League Leaders' Shield safely secured for the second year in a row, while Warrington head into Saturday on the back of five successive league defeats.

St Helens have also beaten their near-neighbours in all three league meetings in 2019 by an aggregate score of 89-34 and to make matters worse for Steve Price's Warrington, they have a number of injury concerns over key players.

St Helens coach Justin Holbrook has a near full-strength team to choose from except forward Matty Lees and with their dominant form in Super League, it is hard to resist St Helens at 9/10 to win by 10 or more points as the first of our Challenge Cup predictions.

It would be hugely disappointing if the first meeting between these famous old clubs in a major final turned out to be one-sided.

Much will depend on how the Wolves' walking wounded get through the captain's run at the stadium on Friday afternoon.

There is huge doubt over whether Blake Austin will be available from his ankle injury but Warrington will be seriously tempted to take a risk on their influential playmaker.

Full-back Stefan Ratchford, winger Josh Charnley and second rower Jack Hughes look set to take their places in the team, but it is a far from a settled line-up.

This weekend's best bets

If you're interested in football accumulators, check out our regular betting columns:

Saints will look to make a fast start to set the tempo and provide an uphill battle for the injury-hit Wolves. In the last 10 finals, there have been more points scored in the opening 40 minutes on five occasions and we're taking 21/20 for that to be the case again as the next of our Challenge Cup betting tips.

Holbrook and Warrington's Price have been friends since the age of the seven and the former admitted he is still wary of the out-of-form Wolves due to his counterpart's presence.

He said in the build-up to Saturday's showdown: "Knowing Pricey well, he'll be happy with how they've stumbled the last few weeks.

"He's good at getting the best out of them. Even at last week's game, they would have wanted to win the game but with 22 minutes to go Wigan went down to 12 men and he took his best attacking player, Stefan Ratchford, off the field.

"I think that was a sign that he was planning on the next week, so we're aware of that."

Saints have match-winners all across the field and despite Holbrook's reservations, St Helens to be winning at half-time and full-time completes our picks from the Challenge Cup odds at 8/15.

Acca Bonus up to 100% - Place a treble or higher across any sport and if it wins, we'll boost your winnings in cash. Remember to check that all your selections are higher than 1.50 (1/2). T&Cs apply.

Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Rugby League