Saints to take giant scalp
Ian Millward previews the First Utility Super League action taking place on Friday.
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Salford (+8) v Wigan (Thursday 2000 BST)
First I'd like to say that from a coaching perspective, Wigan were fantastic in beating Leeds despite the absence of key players last week. It was a performance which made you sit up and take notice. However, Blake Green and Matty Bowen are out or this and that puts them under pressure again; you wonder whether the youngsters can back up that performance. I also have a feeling Salford may improve here. Their completion rate has been poor but if they can get a little bit of consistency with the ball they might surprise Wigan. They're defending quite well and it all depends on how they are in possession. Wigan should win but I'd edge towards Salford on the handicap.
Leeds v Hull (+16) (Friday 2000)
Hull have only won one of their last five, whereas Leeds were on a four-match winning run until last week's defeat to Wigan. The Rhinos have the most metres running this year and are definitely superior in attack. Kallum Watkins and Tom Briscoe are back and provide further attacking force, but Jamie Peacock is out and they will miss him. Despite that, I really reckon Leeds are a big threat to all this year and have too much for Hull - they can win and cover.
St Helens v Huddersfield (+4) (Friday 2000)
There are some interesting stats on Saints at the moment. They've scored the most tries and made the most clean breaks this season, but they've been inconsistent and were poor last week against Warrington. They need to be more composed and build pressure, as they have the players to turn that into results if they can remain composed. The Giants have been slowly building but they're into a real rhythm and I like the way they're playing. I'm just not sure they can beat a top-two side just yet and this is massive for Saints, who are not far off exploding against one of the better teams. This might be the game so take them to cover.