COMMENT: Tough fixture run-in leaves Wakefield Trinity with plenty of work to do in relegation battle
Wakefield Trinity's fixture run-in will do their survival hopes few favours.
Trinity's latest defeat - a 461-6 loss at Wigan Warriors and their eighth in nine league games - saw them slip further away from the play-off places as their relegation fears moved closer to reality.
Wakefield are now closer to the foot of table than the top five and things won't get any easier as they face one of the toughest fixture run-ins of the sides around them.
Chris Chester's side has an even split of home and away games in their remaining six games but play four of the current top five in that run.
Next up is a trip to St Helens on August 2 before they welcome Hull FC to Belle Vue nine days later.
A home clash with Wigan is sandwiched between visits to Hull KR and Warrington Wolves.
Then, London Broncos, who have beaten Trinity twice in the capital already this campaign, are the visitors to the Mobile Rocket Stadium on the final day of the season.
And given Wakefield's form over the last couple of months, the fixture list makes for daunting reading.
Bottom-club London host an under-strength St Helens this afternoon, with the league leaders making nine changes from the side that beat Wigan last weekend.
The Broncos have already beat Justin Holbrook's side once this year, and a repeat of that result today will put them just two points behind Wakefield.
Huddersfield Giants' win over Hull KR on Friday moved them above Wakefield while Leeds Rhinos could knock Trinity further down the ladder if they beat Hull FC later this afternoon.
Wakefield have already beaten Hull and Wigan once in 2019 and pushed St Helens and Warrington until the final hooter earlier in the campaign.
The games against Hull KR and London - the only sides left to play around them - may prove the most decisive as Wakefield aim to secure their Super League status.
The Broncos' fixtures are no walk in the park either, they host Salford Red Devils on August 4 before consecutive away trips to Castleford Tigers and Catalans Dragons.
They finish their home campaign with a clash against Leeds Rhinos and then travel to Hull KR and Wakefield in their final two games.
Of the team's fighting the drop, Wakefield have the joint-highest points - 18 - and their early-season form could see them over the line.
Given their far-inferior points difference, London would likely need to finish on more points than Wakefield and with only seven games to go, it may prove too great a margin to claw back.
Trinity have had to contend with a near-unprecedented injury crisis this campaign and should start to regain form when more players make their way back into the squad.
Head coach Chris Chester has said he is looking to add some new troops, something that could jolt his side into action - as new arrivals would greatly benefit a squad that is in desperate need of some competition for places.