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St Helens v Catalan Dragons: French side set to shock

| 05.02.2015

One of the dominant forces of Super League for many years now, St Helens showed they still had it last season, taking the title in a hard fought Grand Final against old rivals Wigan.

They must begin their season this time round against a Catalans outfit they defeated in the semis back in October, and are 4/11 to record back-to-back wins against the French side.

But with our three best bets looking to get our own Super League season off to the best possible start, the value might be in an upset in the first round of fixtures.

Catalan Dragons to win @ 9/4

They may have gone down 30-12 to the same opponents in the last four in Super League XIX, but take nothing away from the Dragons, their record against Saints is none too shabby.

Prior to that defeat, they had come away from Langtree Park with a win on two of their previous three visits and have won three times when the sides have met over the past three seasons.

Laurent Frayssinous’ men are a high scoring team, with three Catalans players occupying the top seven try-scorers list from last season, and have bolstered their ranks with the quality NRL pairing of Willie Tonga and Todd Carney.

At a very juicy price they look value to upset the applecart.

Todd Carney to score a try @ 9/4

With the likes of Morgan Escare, Michael Oldfield and Elliott Whitehead in their squad Catalans have plenty of scoring options, but a chance should be taken on new signing Todd Carney.

If keeping the Australian away from the controversy that dogged his NRL career, they could have a star player on their hands.

He has already been dazzling in a Dracs shirt, twice going over the whitewash in the final trial match before the season gets underway.

Highest scoring half: 2nd @ 8/11

Statistics say this bet needs to be followed.

Of the last five meetings between these sides at in St Helens, four of them have seen the second half outscore the opening 40 minutes comprehensively.

And with both teams likely to start off slowly, allowing them to weigh up their opposition, expect a flurry of scoring in the latter period.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.