Rhinos and Red Devils clash in top of the table tussle

 

Leeds Rhinos will be looking for their ninth victory from ten games at the AJ Bell Stadium when they take on second placed Salford Red Devils.

Both sides have enjoyed a good season so far but as the season edges closer towards the Super 8s both will be looking for momentum.

LAST TIME OUT

When these sides last met it was Brian McDermott’s side which came out on top with a 20-14 win at Headingley.

Both Leeds and Salford produced three tries but in the end it was Rob Burrow’s four kicks which edged the Rhinos ahead, despite losing 6-8 at half-time.

The try scorers for the hosts were Ryan Hall, James Keinhorst and Liam Sutcliffe while Gareth O’Brien, Kris Welham and Logan Tomkins touched down for Salford.

KEY BATTLES

With Leeds having Salford’s number over the years, the key battle will perhaps be a psychological one rather than a tactical or a physical one.

Salford have won just one of their last 18 games against the Rhinos with their last victory coming in early 2016.

However, when you go past the psychological factors there is very little to separate these two teams. Both outfits have won 13 games this season and both have accumulated 26 points. In terms of the points scoring difference, there is also little to separate these sides.

Perhaps the only edge could turn out to be home advantage for Salford. Leeds have enjoyed mixed results away from home and it wouldn’t be a shock if that factor came into play.

PREDICTION

This is turning out to be a tough round of Super League fixtures in terms of predictions. This game could be the toughest of the lot. Despite the head to head record over the past few years, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Salford slight favourites do to home advantage. They are enjoying a terrific season therefore, I would lean in their favour by the slightest of margins.

SQUAD NEWS

Skipper Danny McGuire returns to the team alongside Jamie Jones-Buchanan as injured Rob Burrow and Brett Ferres miss out.

Salford also make changes as Jake Bibby, Dan Murray and Josh Wood come in for Todd Carney, Mark Flanagan and Logan Tomkins.

Salford Red Devils: Bibby, Brining, Dobson, Evalds, Griffin, Kopczak, Hasson, Johnson, Murray, Hauraki, Lui, Tasi, Wood, Welham, Krasniqi, Sa’u, O’Brien, Murdoch-Masila, Jones

Leeds Rhinos: Golding, Briscoe, Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Galloway, Parcell, Cuthbertson, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Ward, Singleton, Garbutt, Mullally, Walters, Lilley, Walker, A Sutcliffe