Hull FC host league leaders St Helens in the final round of the regular season.
TEAM FORM GUIDE
The Black and Whites have died away this season with them occupying the top five for the majority of the season, however they dropped out as a result of last weeks defeat to Castleford. One win in their last six has put them in this position. Even a win on Friday may not be enough to qualify for the play-offs.
The Saints have dominated the league this season. 16 points clear of rivals Wigan, who currently occupy second, it has been a near perfect season. The only major slip up came when losing the Challenge Cup final. That is their only defeat in the previous six matches.
Lee Radford makes two changes from his unsuccesful side from last weekend. Jordan Lane and Andre Savelio replace Jack Logan and Sika Manu.
This potentially means Manu has played the final game of his career, unless Hull are able to get back into the play-off spots.
Hull FC 19-man squad: Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Griffin, Kelly, Sneyd, Taylor, Houghton, Bowden, Minichello, Connor, Matongo, Fash, Lane, Paea, Naulago, Ellis, Savelio, Satae
There is no surpise that Justin Holbrook has not rested players due to them having a week off next week.
Only one change has been made, with Joseph Paulo replacing Danny Richardson.
Mark Percival is set to feature despite suffering a head injury last Friday.
St Helens 19-man squad: Lomax, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Grace, Fages, Warmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Paulo, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles, Amor, Peyroux, Ashworth, Bentley, Coote, Costello
HEAD TO HEAD
In a match that Hull may need to win not just to qualify but for pride the statistics are not in their favour. Two defeats this season to the Saints makes it six wins in a row against Hull.
Conceeding over 100 points this season against the Merseyside club, Hull cannot be confident as they are in poor form and the aggregate score this season being 102-28. The 17 tries they have scored have included four at the Totally Wicked Stadium for Kevin Naiqama, as well as two for key players Lachlan Coote and Johnny Lomax.
The last time Hull ran out winners over St Helens was an 8-6 away win back in August 2017. Regan Grace gave the Saints a 6-0 lead inside four minutes, however a try by Marc Sneyd levelled the scoring at the break. The second half was hard fought with the game winning moment coming in the 64th when Sneyd converting a penalty from around 50 metres.
Danny Houghton (Hull FC) v James Roby (St Helens)
One of the most important duels could be the ruck speed, with Danny Houghton and James Roby dominating this area. Two very long serving players who are very important to their respective sides.
Danny Houghton is a very strong defensive player, who is set to retain his crown as the leagues top tackler. He is nearly 100 ahead of Luke Yates. With one try and twelve assists, he also give Hull that go forward. It will be a tough task but he will look to link up with Sneyd and Albert Kelly to try and record what maybe a crucial success.
James Roby has sat out more games this season than normal. The 33-year old has been at the Saints for 15 years and his work rate has never dropped in all that time. Five tries and ten assists, Roby is very important to this side. With strong props such as Luke Thompson and Alex Warmsley, he will often speed up the play the ball which his runs from dummy half gets the opposition on the back foot.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday September 13th
Venue: KCOM Stadium
Kick-off: 7:45 PM
Referee: Liam Moore
WHO WILL WIN?
This could be a game Hull needs to win, if Castleford lose against Wigan on Thursday it is a must win for Hull. However, the way they have played recently and matches this season, I cannot see anything but a St Helens win.