Hull FC host Salford on Friday evening, with both sides aiming to end winless runs spanning league and cup. The Black & Whites were beaten by Warrington before exiting the Challenge Cup to St Helens last time out, while Salford have lost five in a row.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Lee Radford has lost forwards Sika Manu and Dean Hadley as well as hooker Danny Houghton to injury following the 25-22 defeat to the Saints last Sunday. Joe Westerman has recovered from an elbow injury, however, and he is in the squad alongside Jordan Lane, Jack Downs and centre Cameron Scott.
Youngster Liam Harris is expected to start at half-back alongside Jake Connor after Albert Kelly’s recovery from a hamstring problem was hampered, ruling him out of Friday’s contest.
Hull 19-man squad: Shaul, Faraimo, Tuimavave, Kelly, Taylor, Minichiello, Connor, Green, Washbrook, Fash, Paea, Logan, Lane, Downs, Miloudi, Matongo, Scott, Westerman, Harris
Salford Red Devils
Red Devils full-back Niall Evalds will be out for a lengthy period after it was confirmed that he had broken a leg in the club’s defeat to Huddersfield Giants two weeks ago.
Weller Hauraki’s departure to Widnes rules him out, while Ed Chamberlain and Greg Burke – who moved the other way – are not included. Josh Jones and Kris Welham have recovered from injury, while Lama Tasi, Jack Littlejohn and Tyrone McCarthy also come into the squad.
Salford 19-man squad: Johnson, Welham, Sa’u, Lui, Littlejohn, Kopczak, Tomkins, Griffin, Jones, Flanagan, Tasi, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Olpherts, Mossop, Bibby, Murray, Shorrocks
HEAD TO HEAD
Salford will be looking for a second successive win over Hull after defeating their opponents 24-8 in March. Winger Greg Johnson, Robert Lui, Littlejohn and Ben Nakubuwai crossed for Ian Watson’s men, while Hadley scored for Hull.
However, Hull have the better record over several past meetings with Salford, with Radford’s side winning four of the last five previous to this season’s encounter. In that time, Hull have won at home and away twice, while Salford’s only win was a handsome one – 54-18 away at the KCOM stadium in April 2017.
KEY BATTLE – Jake Connor vs Robert Lui
These two half-backs are crucial to their sides, with the potential to change the game. Connor has six tries and six assists this season, and when on top of his game, the Englishman is a dangerous prospect.
It was Lui’s performance that inspired Salford to victory over Hull earlier this season, and so the hosts will know what the Australian offers. Having scored four tries and assisted four others for the Red Devils, Lui will be key to taking his side to victory on Friday night.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: Friday, June 8
Venue: KCOM Stadium
Kick-off: 7.45pm BST
Referee: Robert Hicks
WHO WILL WIN?