IT’S here again, the greatest clash in rugby league…St Helens v Wigan in the annual Good Friday derby.

Forget about Manchester City and Arsenal in the Premier League title race…this is the must watch game over Easter.

I honestly think this could be the best clash between three big two we’ve seen for a number of years. Both teams in good form, the top two in the Betfred Super League - and two sides who genuinely believe they will win.

I can’t believe it’s the twenty year anniversary on Friday from the infamous ‘Scully & Faz’ handbags!

Obviously I’m referring to the humdinger of a Good Friday clash at Knowsley Road back in 2004, which saw both sides erupt as the game boiled over. We drew 21-21 that day, unsurprisingly as there is usually very little between the sides on these occasions.

One eight year old who was stood on the terraces that day, was Saints in-form back rower Matt Whitley.

Whitley, who joined his home town club over the pre season from the Catalan Dragons has been in sensational form so far this season.

He has spoken about his excitement of playing in a Saints-Wigan derby for the first time, in front of a crowd that has been sold-out for weeks.

He said : "The derby speaks for itself. It attracts a lot of fans and neutrals who love watching two of the best teams going up against each other. Seeing the Saints fans and the atmosphere they will build towards the game, it's going to be electric."

I certainly can’t disagree, and if ever there is one time I do miss playing it will be Friday. I’ve already mentioned both teams are in great form, Wigan yet to lose a game in 2024, and Saints just dropping the one in a shock defeat to Salford, but as in the history of this fixture previous results and form count for nothing.

I’ve been involved in many of the Easter battles with the old enemy, losing games against a team of kids or beating their best sides. This is one of the best things as a spectator...nobody knows what’s going to happen!

The game will most certainly be a physical battle from the off with the two best forward packs in the Betfred Super League aiming to dominate the other. The likes of Walmsley and Knowles up against Thompson and Dupree should alone be mouthwatering. Then throw in the like of Welsby, Lomax and the returning Tommy Makinson vs Field, French and Wardle and there is the proof there are match winners all across the park.

I’m going to of course back the Saints to use the electric home atmosphere and take the win. I’m going for a win by more than six points which is a tempting 2/1 with my good friends at Betfred.

The home side certainly come into the biggest game of the season on a high, having turned over the Leeds Rhinos at Headingley two weeks in a row, the second knocking them out of the Betfred Challenge Cup. This tee’d up a headline grabbing tie in the Quarter Finals against Warrington Wolves.

Half back Lewis Dodd is hopeful to recover from injury in time to play on Friday, but if not Moses Mbye will again be ready to step up. Mark Percival is now available following a suspension, so there are definitely some big calls for our head coach Paul Wellens to make.

Title sponsors Betfred still have the current Super League and World Club Champions Wigan as 5/4 favourites for Grand Final glory come October, with Saints close behind at 12/5. Catalan and Wire are both 8/1 shots.

Will this all change come 5.30pm Good Friday evening? That is the big question...