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Salford Red Devils vs Hull KR: Team news, match preview and score prediction

The AJ Bell Stadium will host Salford and Hull KR on Friday night with both teams looking to find more consistency and much-improved performances.

After starting the season with two wins, Paul Rowley’s Red Devils have lost convincingly away to Hull FC and Huddersfield in the last two weeks to really derail what looked like a promising start under their new boss.

It has been a tough start to the season for Tony Smith’s Rovers side too who have been well beaten by Wigan, Huddersfield and St Helens, but their round three showing against Castleford offered hope for last season’s surprise package.

Team News

Sam Luckley will come into the Salford side with Greg Burke missing due to concussion protocols. Tim Lafai could be back for the hosts in this one which would be a huge boost for head coach Rowley, with his side’s attacking threat almost non-existent in the 34-2 defeat at the hands of Huddersfield on Sunday.

Hull KR are not having much luck with injuries at the moment, especially to key players. Star fullback Lachlan Coote is out again and is joined by Brad Takairangi in a big blow for the Robins. In better news for Smith’s side, Kane Linnett is included in the squad and his return could be vital given the experience that is currently on the sidelines for KR.

Match Preview – Key battles:

Marc Sneyd vs Jordan Abdull: Everything was looking rosy for Sneyd after two rounds of the season but things have soured a little since on his return to Salford. The experienced halfback was sin-binned in the heavy defeat at his former club Hull and he struggled to create anything for his side in Sunday’s defeat to the Giants. A return to home soil may mark a return to form for Sneyd who has a lot of expectation on his shoulders. Talking of expectation, Jordan Abdull is usually at the heart of everything Hull KR do good in attack and the man that led them within 80 minutes of last year’s Grand Final will look to recapture top form here and outperform Sneyd in the halfback battle.

Andy Ackers vs Matt Parcell: Though the halves shoulder much of the responsibility, both starting hookers will want to get a better rhythm to their team’s attack after pretty abject performances last weekend. Both Ackers and Parcell have the experience and knowhow to get their respective packs rolling and the one that dominates the ruck area better in this one will likely end up on the winning team.

Where the game will be won and lost:

This is a pretty tough game to call. Both sides have been hit and miss this season and it really depends which Salford and which Hull KR show up. Going off last week it was pretty evident there is a lot of work still to be done by Rowley at Salford and the opening two wins against Castleford and Toulouse perhaps papered over the cracks a little. As we know, Hull KR got within one match of the Grand Final last year and out of the two they have had the more difficult start to this campaign playing both Wigan and St Helens. Rovers probably have the more settled team and despite Saints running away with it at Craven Park last week, Smith’s men have a better defence than Salford. So despite notable injuries, this will be an away win.

Score prediction: Salford Red Devils 12-24 Hull KR

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