Top of the table St. Helens travel East to face a Salford side who have won their last two league games. Here’s everything you need to know about the round thirteen fixture.
Salford’s talisman Robert Lui is out with a calf injury, so Jake Shorrocks could make his debut for Ian Watson’s side.
Lee Mossop returns to the squad following a concussion injury, while Lama Tasi also makes the squad after recovering from an illness.
Salford have scored 68 points and conceded just 16 in their last two matches, making them the most in-form team in the league.
Salford’s 19-man squad: Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Evalds, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tomkins, Griffin, Flanagan, Tasi, Lannon, Burgess, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Mossop, Bibby, Murray, Shorrocks.
Saints recall back-rower Zeb Taia and centre Mark Percival to the squad after concussion and suspension respectively. James Bentley and Jack Ashworth drop out.
St. Helens bounced back from defeat to Wakefield by recording the biggest win of the Super League season against Huddersfield Giants last time out, winning by a scoreline of 66-4.
St. Helens’ 19-man squad: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Fages, Smith, Amor, Taia, Wilkin, McCarthy, Douglas, Knowles, Thompson, Peyroux, Richardson, Grace, Lees, Barba, Costello.
HEAD TO HEAD
This is the teams’ first meeting of the season and Salford will want to rid any remaining demons from their heavy defeats against the Saints last term (4-30 and 34-2).
Saints have won 8 of the last 10 episodes of this long-standing Super League fixture and have scored at least two tries in all of those, so they are strong favourites to take this one.
KEY BATTLE – Niall Evalds v Ben Barba
Niall Evalds has a big opportunity to impress this season. The full-back slot has opened up following Gareth O’Brien’s departure to Toronto.
Evalds has played all but one Super League game this season, making eight appearances at full-back and three on the wing.
Evalds will be up against Saints’ star player in Ben Barba, though, and it’s easy to see why he’s making so many headlines; just look at his sensational breakaway try against Huddersfield.
The 28-year old is the competition’s joint top scorer with 12 tries to his name; he sits alongside teammate Mark Percival and Hull FC’s Fetuli Talanoa.
If Salford are to win this one, Barba needs to be stopped.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: 26 April 2018
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
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