This is not just the game of the round, it might just be the most important game of the season as seventh host sixth with both sides going into the game level on points with Salford just ahead on points difference.
A win for either would be a massive boost in the play-off race. In fact, considering their points difference advantage, a win for the Red Devils would all but secure their place in the top six.
But can Cas stop Salford’s scintillating form and reclaim a spot in the top six which was theirs up until their recent defeat to Huddersfield?
Castleford may very well be without Gareth O’Brien due to a knee injury as well as Kenny Edwards who picked up a head knock in the win over Warrington and didn’t return. The Tigers haven’t picked up any bans so any further changes from Lee Radford will be about introducing fresh legs.
There was no new injury concerns for Salford as they beat Hull FC on Thursday. However, we could see Joe Burgess return to the 17 after Rhys Williams featured on the wing the other night making a rare try scoring appearance. Dan Sarginson may be an option for Paul Rowley after he was named in the 21-man squad on Tuesday. He didn’t play but could be a useful injection of energy here. The same could be said of King Vuniyayaw.
Match Preview – Key Battles:
Danny Richardson vs Marc Sneyd: A lot of focus has been on the creative Brodie Croft at Salford, but former Castleford halfback Marc Sneyd has been vital to the Red Devils’ success in 2022 and he’ll be pivotal in directing this game the way of Salford especially against a terrific yet underrated organiser like Danny Richardson. Both are also terrific goal kickers, so that too should be an interesting battle.
Paul McShane vs Andy Ackers: In the modern game, a lot of focus is given to the really lively running nines and both of these men certainly have terrific running games, but they can also be methodical less interested in success for themselves and keen on being an integral cog in their team’s attack. Both will look to boss the ruck and create the right platform, but who will give their side the advantage?
Where the game will be won and lost:
Castleford will have to contain Salford’s expressive attack. That is a must and will be helped by the fact their pitch is a touch tighter than most. If they succeed, they have the forward power to get on top and win. Otherwise, Salford will likely punch holes through the Tigers as their expressive attack shines again.
Score Prediction: Castleford Tigers 18-26 Salford Red Devils