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Super League match preview: St Helens vs Widnes Vikings

Date: 25/07/2014
Venue: Langtree Park
Kick-off: 8:00pm (UK Time)

Teams

St Helens 19 man squad:

2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 15. Mark Flanagan, 16. Kyle Amor, 17. Paul Wellens, 18. Alex Walmsley, 22. Mark Percival, 24. Gary Wheeler, 26. Matty Dawson.

Widnes Vikings 19 man squad:

1. Rhys Hanbury, 2. Jack Owens, 3. Cameron Phelps, 4. Stefan Marsh, 5. Patrick Ah Van, 6. Kevin Brown, 7. Joe Mellor, 9. Jon Clarke, 11. Dave Allen, 12. Danny Tickle, 13. Hep Cahill, 14. Chris Dean, 16. Willie Isa, 17. Danny Galea, 18. Paul Johnson, 20. Paddy Flynn, 22. Liam Carberry, 24. Macgraff Leuluai, 25. Alex Gerrard.

Preview

St Helens host Widnes Vikings on Friday night in a crucial match for both teams as the season reaches the business end.

Saints will be looking to cement their place at the top of Super League meanwhile, the Vikings will be looking to cling on to their place in the top eight with a number of teams snapping at their heels.

Both teams go into this game off the back of wins as Saints travelled to already relegated London Broncos and came away with a 16-58 victory whereas, the Vikings ended Warrington’s nine match winning run with a brilliant 28-14 triumph inside a noisy Select Security Stadium.

Widnes have one over St Helens having beaten them earlier in the season 40-26 and will be looking to record a historic double over their local rivals when the two meet on Friday night.

Saints however, will be after revenge and with the league leaders shield up for grabs they will not want to let slip and hand the advantage to rivals Wigan and Leeds who are lurking just two points behind them.

In team news, the home side welcome back star man Luke Walsh who returns from a three-week back injury which has come at a good time with Lance Hohaia out through injury. Tommy Makinson and Willie Manu were rested for the trip to London and are back for the visit of Widnes.

The Vikings have Patrick Ah Van and Chris Dean back in contention for a place in the 17 while Paul Johnson replaces Ben Kavanagh in the front row.

The home side should have enough quality to take the two points in this match although if Widnes perform like they did a week ago against Warrington they could have a chance at causing another upset.

Prediction

Saints might just have too much for Widnes but I’m expecting a gutsy performance from the visitors. Saints by 12.

My name is Sean Hayes. I am from Widnes, England. I am currently studying journalism at Salford University. Aspiring sports journalist and rugby league fanatic whether it is watching, playing or writing about the greatest game! Follow me on twitter @SHayesNBL

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