Wolves can stem relegation tide against Toulouse

With just five rounds of the regular season remaining, Warrington entertain Toulouse Olympique on Thursday with the French side knowing a win will bring Wolves right back into the mix for the drop (Warrington Wolves 1/5, Toulouse Olympique 4/1, tie 22/1 – Match Winner).

Daryl Powell’s men came into the season with aspirations of mounting a title challenge, but a torrid campaign has left them third-from-bottom at this late stage, with only a four-point cushion separating them and their Thursday evening guests.

The form guide makes for grim reading for Wire fans. They were unable to build any momentum following the impressive 36-10 away win at Catalans in mid-July, losing on four straight outings – among them a resounding 32-6 beating at rivals Wigan last time out.

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Despite this, two points picked up against Olympique would give the Wolves a likely unassailable six-point advantage over Super League’s basement side, with the news of a return to action for newly signed fullback Matt Dufty – who injured his foot on debut against Huddersfield two rounds ago – providing a timely boost.

Bottom club Toulouse have trailed the pack for much of the term, but the newly-promoted club put together a succession of three wins through early July to give themselves a fighting chance of seeing a second season in the top flight.

Defeats to play-off-chasing Salford and Hull, however, saw them pass up further opportunities to rein in Warrington and fellow strugglers Wakefield, who are visited by second-placed Wigan on Sunday afternoon (Wakefield Trinity 10/3, Wigan Warriors 2/9, draw 22/1 – Match Betting).

A 22-16 loss at Craven Park against Hull KR last time out could have handed Toulouse their first regular away win of the season; the French side led 16-10 going into the final nine minutes before two converted tries snatched a late victory.

Nevertheless, another strong first-half performance could prove key to instilling panic at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

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