Ladbrokes Challenge Cup winners Hull FC travel to Langtree Park for the third time this year to face St. Helens, to continue their pursuit of the treble, with a much weakened team which is minus at least five of their Wembley heroes.
Keiron Cunningham has none of the enviable problem that opposite number Lee Radford has, with the Black & Whites coach having to deal with the euphoria of claiming the clubs first ever Wembley win, at the ninth attempt, last week.
The Airlie Birds will be without Lance Todd Trophy winner Marc Sneyd, Cup Final hero Danny Houghton and skipper Gareth Ellis as well as half back Carlos Tuimavave and Mark Minichiello, which means former Saints player Leon Pryce will captain them.
One man who has been drafted in which the home side will have to watch, is Curtis Naughton, who seems to have a very happy knack of scoring tries against them, including a hat-trick at Langtree Park in their Super 8s encounter last year.
St. Helens: Lomax, Turner, Swift, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Vea, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Richards, Peyroux, Fages, Greenwood, Owens, McDonnell, Fleming, Davies, Ashworth, Knowles.
Hull FC: Shaul, Fonua, Talanoa, Pryce, Taylor, Watts, Abdull, Paleaaesina, Green, Thompson, Hadley, Michaels, Naughton, Manu, Bowden, Pritchard, Yeaman, Turgut, Washbrook.
With the defeat for Wigan Warriors last night having taken some of the pressure off the Black & Whites at the top, and the absolute unconfined joy, and the celebrations after their historic Wembley victory, it’s anyone’s guess as to what sort of Hull side will confront the Saints.
Until their embarrassment at Wigan a fortnight ago, Saints had been in outstanding form, and they will look to get back on the horse this time out, so this is a match with much risk for the Super League leaders, and much will depend on how they get used to the key personnel changes.
Having said that Hull FC have proved this season, never more than when becoming the first team to beat Warrington Wolves this year on Easter Monday, that when they have to change, they are more than capable, they will also have players desperate to prove to Lee Radford why they should be considered for a possible Grand Final, having missed out at Wembley.
Prediction: Hull FC to win by 10 points
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