Huddersfield Giants make the short trip to the AJ Bell Stadium on the back of three consecutive victories, including a brilliant 25-22 win over Wakefield at last week’s Magic Weekend. Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the clash.
Salford Red Devils
Salford welcome back Ben Nakubuwai from injury; he missed the defeat by Catalans Dragons with concussion.
Gavin Bennion could make his home debut but Kris Welham is out with a knock picked up in the loss to Catalans Dragons at Magic Weekend.
Salford have lost their last four matches and will need to be on form to stop a Huddersfield side who have found the knack of scoring in recent weeks.
Salford Red Devils 19-man squad: Johnson, Sa’u, Evalds, Lui, Kopczak, Tomkins, Griffin, Hauraki, Flanagan, Lannon, McCarthy, Nakubuwai, Wood, Olpherts, Mossop, Bibby, Murray, Bennion, Shorrocks.
Huddersfield Giants captain Leroy Cudjoe could feature for the first time since September. A long-term knee injury has seen him miss almost eight months of this season.
Cudjoe is one of two changes to the squad named for the win over Wakefield Trinity, with Daniel Smith also coming back in.
Giants have won their last three matches in all competitions, their best run of the season, and will be looking to capitalise on a Salford side who are missing a few players through injury.
Huddersfield Giants 19-man squad: Mamo, McGillvary, Cudjoe, Turner, Murphy, Gaskell, Brough, Ikahihifo, Leeming, Hinchcliffe, Rankin, Roberts, Ta’ai, Clough, Smith, O’Brien, Mellor, McIntosh, English.
HEAD TO HEAD
A brilliant defensive display saw Salford win the reverse fixture by a score of 30-12 at the John Smith’s Stadium last month. Double try scorer Jake Bibby and a perfect kicking record from Rob Lui won the match for the Reds.
Salford also crushed Huddersfield 52-14 in last season’s Super 8s in what was the most one-sided game that the hosts had been involved in in 2017.
Bibby scored in the rout and has a habit of making his mark in this fixture, as does Giants’ Oliver Roberts, who has also scored in the last two meetings between the two sides.
KEY BATTLE – Jake Bibby (Salford Red Devils) v Matty English (Huddersfield Giants)
As previously stated, Jake Bibby knows how to score against Huddersfield. Bibby was on the scoresheet twice in Salford’s last win, a 38-4 demolition of Wakefield Trinity, and he will need to continue his scoring trait if he is going to be on the winning side on Friday night.
Matty English has been immense in the Giants’ three wins on the bounce, scoring to two of them, and has recently signed a new four-year deal at the West Yorkshire club. His powerful drives provide respite for his colleagues as well making important metres for his side.
THE IMPORTANT DETAILS
Date: 25th May 2018
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Referee: L. Moore
WHO WILL WIN?