Salford Red Devils v St Helens: Preview

Salford Red Devils v St Helens

Salford are a team on the up after picking up four wins from their opening seven matches in the Super League this season.

The Red Devils demolished Widnes 46-10 last time out, to follow up an impressive win against high-flying Castleford, and Ian Watson’s men go into Thursday’s clash with St Helens full of confidence.

With strong performances bringing about positive results, Salford have also been boosted by several key signatures, with Weller Hauraki, Ben Murdoch-Masila, Lama Tasi and Junior Sa’u all committing their futures to the club.

Coach Ian Watson also signed a new deal and he has put together a side who are becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Super League.

However, they face a stern test this week when they welcome St Helens to the AJ Bell Stadium.

The Saints are on the march after last week’s 31-6 win against bottom side Warrington Wolves, with England scrum-half Matty Smith making his first appearance for the club since the 2010 Grand Final.

Smith, who rejoined the Saints from Wigan at the end of last season, has had to be patient after missing three months due to a broken leg, and he’ll be eager to impress against his former club on Thursday night.

After a slow start, which saw them pick up just two wins from their opening five games, Kieron Cunningham’s men are now looking for their third win in a row.

Salford make just one change to their squad for the visit of St Helens, with Jake Bibby replacing Junior Sa’u, after he was ruled out of the game through illness.

St Helens coach Keiron Cunningham has been forced into three changes, with Jonny Lomax, Morgan Knowles and Matty Fleming replacing the injured Jack Ashworth, Greg Richards and Adam Swift.

Cunningham will be particularly pleased about the return of Lomax, after the full-back recovered from the knee injury that has kept him out for the past three weeks.

With these two sides looking to extend their winning runs, Thursday’s Super League clash should be an absolute cracker.

St Helens have the upper hand when it comes to previous meetings between the two sides, winning five of the last six and the return of Jonny Lomax could be key in helping them extend that tally.

Salford Squad: Walne, Murdoch-Masila, Kopczak, O’Brien, Griffin, Johnson, Bibby, Jones, J Carney, Welham, Brining, Tasi, Mossop, Tomkins, Flanagan, Dobson, Krasniqi, Lui, T Carney.

St Helens Squad: Lomax, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Fages, Smith, Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Wilkin, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Douglas, Walker, Lee, Peyroux, Knowles, Owens, Fleming, Taia.

Prediction: Salford 20-28 St Helens