Ian Watson welcomes his former side in what should be an interesting match-up between two teams who have won two of their three matches so far in Super League.
Both Huddersfield and Salford had a 100 percent record heading into round three, but the Giants perfect start was ended in a battling defeat at Wigan, while Salford capitulated in a heavy loss away to Hull FC.
The two teams will be eager to get back on track in this one and ensure they spend the early stages of the season towards the top end of the Super League table.
It’s mixed news on the injury and suspension front for Ian Watson and Paul Rowley ahead of this one. Huddersfield are able to welcome back Ashton Golding who will be keen to put injury problems firmly behind him and have a sustained run in the team. Theo Fages is also back from suspension to face his former side, but star centre Jake Wardle remains sidelined and hooker Danny Levi still has another match of his ban to serve.
The big news for Salford is the absence of former England centre Dan Sarginson who is expected to miss at least the next three months with a broken shoulder. Deon Cross is likely to deputise in his place, with Red Devils’ boss Rowley likely to stick with the same team as last week despite their woeful showing against Hull.
Match Preview – Key battles:
Theo Fages vs Marc Sneyd: Two players that played together when they were both at Salford in the early 2010s, both Fages and Sneyd have spent their careers challenging for and winning silverware at St Helens and Hull FC respectively. In his first two games as a Giant, Fages looked to be in top form and was thriving with the extra responsibility as a no.7. Sneyd is back at Salford and despite a less than successful return to former club Hull last week, he has undoubtedly improved the Devils and will be confident in getting the better of his former halves partner on Sunday afternoon.
Chris Hill vs King Vuniyayawa: On paper, Huddersfield and Salford look very evenly matched so the forward battle in this one will be key. Ex-England prop Chris Hill will lead from the front for the Giants and he has showed in his first three games he still has plenty left in the tank. Salford’s signing of King Vuniyayawa from Leeds went under the radar prior to this season, but he has been exceptional so far and the Fijian powerhouse will hope to continue that form and run over the top of the Huddersfield pack come Sunday.
Where the game will be won and lost:
As mentioned, the forward battle here may be the deciding factor. It’s very hard to split the two teams on paper and they both have an identical record to start the season. However, despite both teams losing their first game last weekend, they lost in very different fashion. Huddersfield went down with a fight at Wigan in a real arm-wrestle, while Salford were poor against Hull in a match many people were tipping them to get something from. With that in mind and with home advantage, the Giants should win this one by a couple of scores.
Score prediction: Huddersfield Giants 28-16 Salford Red Devils