IN-FORM Huddersfield Giants could not be in better shape going into Sunday's big McAlpine Super League clash against Wigan (3.00).
While the Warriors arrive in West Yorkshire lacking the services of several top-line performers, Huddersfield coach Jon Sharp has all his senior servants ready for battle.
It's a fact that gives the Giants genuine hope they can back up last season's 32-24 McAlpine triumph over Wigan with another memorable victory.
Inspirational Warriors captain Andy Farrell may have now returned to action following major knee surgery, but watching from the stands this weekend will be a host of Wigan international performers.
Mick Cassidy and Danny Sculthorpe are suspended, while Brian Carney, David Hodgson and Adrian Lam are on the long-term injury list.
All five are obviously first-choice players.
As a result, Wigan coach Mike Gregory will hand a debut to 19-year-old Academy player Bob Beswick, who starts on the bench.
That's clearly causing Gregory some concern, who is braced for a tough test against their fellow Challenge Cup semi-finalists.
"Huddersfield gave it to us last year, and I'm sure they will be confident of doing it again this weekend," said Gregory.
"Not too long ago, the Giants were regarded as the whipping boys of Super League, but not any more.
"They are hard to beat, and are particularly tough on their own patch.
"We know we will have to be at our very best to guarantee success on Sunday. If we're not, the outcome is clear.
"In the likes of Brandon Costin and Stanley Gene they have players who are very dangerous with ball in hand, and they have no shortage of pace out wide.
"If we give them any space, their wingers, Marcus St Hilaire and Hefin O'Hare, will punish us.
"We need to be very alive to the threat."
Yet even though Gregory fears and respects the Giants backs, he will also be well aware that the Huddersfield pack will be standing little nonsense.
Wigan's strength appears to be up front, with the likes of Farrell, Quentin Pongia, Craig Smith and Terry Newton expected to lead their challenge and provide valuable service for in-form half-back Danny Orr.
But Giants coach Jon Sharp clearly has the forwards in the right sort of form to keep them quiet.
And he has complete confidence they can lead his side to victory.
"Even though Wigan still have a lot of internationals and are a highly accomplished side, I'm confident my players will give an excellent account of themselves," said Sharp.
"They have all kept their heads down in training this week and haven't allowed the Challenge Cup semi-final draw to be a distraction.
"They are determined to produce a top performance after they allowed their standards to slip in the second half of our win over York.
"And we have the players capable of producing the right results, starting with the forwards who have been in some great form. They will relish this battle with Wigan."
Huddersfield Giants: Reilly, Cooper, O'Hare, Nero, Bailey, Donlan, St Hilaire, Gene, Costin, March, Slicker, Turner, Penkywicz, Fleary, Gannon, Jones, Roarty, Crabtree, Smith.
Wigan Warriors: Radlinski; Aspinwall, Wild, Brown, Dallas; Orr, Robinson; O'Connor, Newton, Smith (C), Farrell, Tickle, O'Loughlin. Subs: Pongia, Smith (M), Hock, Beswick.
Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens).