Wakefield Trinity host St Helens on Thursday as the Super League Super Eights begin to take shape. Trinity can move above Hull into third position with victory, while the Saints, three points off this week’s opposition, need a win to keep their play-off hopes alive.

Last Time Out

Wakefield defeated Salford in round four of the Super Eights, as Trinity put Salford’s top-four chase – which once seemed in full motion – all but out of sight. A 43-18 scoreline at the AJ Bell Stadium saw debutant hooker Tyler Randell and Jacob Miller both tally doubles, while the latter also scored a drop goal. Liam Finn’s nine conversions helped to keep the visitors in control as the Red Devils’ Craig Kopczak was one of only three to touch down for Salford.

Meanwhile, St Helens suffered their third straight defeat last week as they went down 16-26 to resurgent Wigan at the Totally Wicked Stadium. Warriors centre Oliver Gildart gave the away side a blistering start, scoring two tries in the first five minutes as Wigan took early control. Ben Barba, who played his first game since signing for Saints after completing a 12-week ban, touched down for Saints but further tries for Anthony Gelling and George Williams ensured Wigan claimed the points.

Key Battles

Wakefield head coach Chris Chester has named an unchanged side to the one that beat Salford – Randell is set to make his home debut and will look to add to the brace he scored in Greater Manchester. Saints boss Justin Holbrook recalls half-back Danny Richardson as the 21-year-old comes in for Kyle Amor in the only change to the side.

St Helens winger Tommy Makinson, who signed a new contract at the club on Wednesday, is set to feature. The deal will keep the Englishman in Merseyside until 2021 and he will be looking to mark the news with a solid performance over Wakefield.

Prediction

Thursday’s crunch match could put Wakefield in the driving seat for a play-off spot, or it could keep Saints’ fading hopes of a top four finish alive. There will be very few points in this one – St Helens by 4.

Squads

St Helens:Jonny Lomax, Tommy Makinson, Ryan Morgan, Mark Percival, Theo Fages, Matty Smith, Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Jon Wilkin, Loui McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Luke Douglas, Luke Thompson, Dominique Peyroux, Morgan Knowles, Danny Richardson, Regan Grace, Matty Lees, Zeb Taia, Ben Barba.

Wakefield: Scott Grix, Bill Tupou, Reece Lyne, Ben Jones-Bishop, Jacob Miller, Liam Finn, Anthony England, Matty Ashurst, Danny Kirmond, Tinirau Arona, Craig Huby, Joe Arundel, David Fifita, Keegan Hirst, Mason Caton-Brown, Chris Annakin, Dean Hadley, James Hasson, Tyler Randell.