After a hectic Easter Schedule and the latest round of the Challenge Cup, it's back to the norm in Super League this week, and the live actions kicks off with Friday's clash between the Leeds Rhinos and Catalan Dragons at Headingley. The Rhinos form predictably dipped in the absence of Rob Burrow and Danny McGuire, but with their two most creative influences back from injury, it was business as usual for Brian McDermott's men as they ran out comfortable 38-18 winners over Wakefield in the Challenge Cup last week.
Rob Burrow is expected to be named amongst the final 17-man squad for Friday's game in spite of a fractured cheekbone, and that reflects the problems that McDermott has had replacing Danny Buderus since he left at the end of last season. Paul McShane has failed to take his chance, so Shaun Lunt has arrived on loan from Huddersfield, and goes straight into the Rhinos squad.
Catalans have their fair share of problems too, with several injuries amongst the backs again forcing Trent Robinson in to a reshuffle. The absence of Clint Greenshields, Jean Philippe Baille, Greg Mounis and Damien Blanch is likely to see Thomas Bosc make the switch to full back and the inexperienced Damien Cardace come in on the wing.
The rain has been falling heavily in the Leeds area for the last few days and is forecast to continue doing so well into Friday. Catalans will be more than happy to see this turn into a forwards battle, and given that Leeds have tended to struggle to break down the top four sides this term, backing under 48.5 points makes plenty of appeal.
Just two points separate Wakefield and Salford in the current league table and both sides will be keen to get their seasons on track after encouraging starts when they meet at Belle Vue on Saturday evening. Neither side have taken a point from any of their last three league games, but both coaches do at least have almost full-strength sides to choose from this weekend.
Salford were playing a really expansive style of rugby in the early rounds, but they seem to have concentrated more on their defence of late, and they will be keen to keep things tight in wet conditions on Saturday.
Wakefield have scored just 22 points in their last three Super League games, so are clearly finding point hard to come by as things stand, and this could turn into something of an arm wrestle with both sides desperate for the points. This looks another game in which it will pay to go low on points.
Back under 48.5 points in Leeds v Catalan
Back under 48.5 points in Wakefield v Salford