St Helens vs Hull FC: Team news, match preview and score prediction

Fresh from their disappointing Challenge Cup semi-final exit to their arch-rivals, St Helens will hope to bounce back and claim a thirteenth consecutive victory against Hull FC.

The Saints remain unbeaten at the Totally Wicked stadium this season as well as top of the Betfred Super League but Hull started the weekend in the top four and could be tricky opponents for the reigning champions.

Can they find a way to end their poor run against the Champions?

Team News

St Helens welcome James Bell back into the squad, with Regan Grace dropping out. Youngster Jumah Sambou, who recently scored on his debut, is also named in place Kyle Amor. The Champions are still without Will Hopoate but Jonny Lomax survived the semi-final without injury and is thus included.

Hull welcome back a whole host of stars as Josh Griffin and Adam Swift return from injury plus Luke Gale and Josh Reynolds return from suspension. The Black and Whites are still without Andre Savelio, Joe Cator, Ben McNamara and Cameron Scott through injury.

Match Preview – Key Battles:

Jack Welsby vs Jake Connor: An obvious choice really, the attacking play these two produce will be crucial for both sides. Welsby has been entrusted with the number one jersey for a reason and has been a cult hero for the club so far. But Connor currently heads the competition for try assists and will hope to add at least a couple more here.

Mark Percival vs Carlos Tuimavave: This may subvert expectations but think of it this way, both are talented internationals. Mark Percival has been in superb form all season and his enthusiastic style of play has helped the Saints remain dominant. But Tuimavave, since returning from injury, has helped Hull back into form and the difference between both sides could well be in the three-quarters.

Alex Walmsley vs Chris Satae: Another two internationals, juggernauts Alex Walmsley and Chris Satae should produce a mouth-watering battle in the middle. Walmsley makes metres for fun and will be a handful for Hull but Satae could easily return the favour and since arriving from down under, has become one of the most feared forwards in Super League.

Where the game will be won and lost:

St Helens may suffer from “Challenge Cup hangover” as the excuse has been so infamously dubbed over the years. Let us also not forget Hull have hit some form and with players back, could possess the quality to continue it here. However, the Saints do have the head-to-heads on their side as well as being at home plus they demonstrated in the semi-final they can go from nothing to everything in no time at all and this has caught Hull off-guard over the years so there is no reason why this will not repeat.

Prediction: St Helens 28-16 Hull FC

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