Preview: Widnes Vikings v Salford Red Devils (Thurs)

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Thursday night marks the beginning of this weekend’s Super League fixtures and the live match between Widnes and Salford is set to be a close one.

After their trip to Wakefield was abandoned early on last weekend due to the inclement weather, Widnes return to the Select Security Stadium hoping to right the wrongs of their last home game against Huddersfield where the Vikings fell to a disappointing 28-16 loss. The hosts, a team with a 50 % win record at home, have seen coach Denis Betts name an unchanged squad with a lengthy injury list somewhat restricting the former England assistant coach’s choices.

However, they are playing host to a team without an away win in ten months in the shape of Salford. Furthermore, the Red Devils are without back to back victories since last May yet will be aiming for that as they bid to follow on from their shock 24-8 victory over Hull FC last weekend. There are still rumours circulating that the Red Devils are going to see some more of their stars follow Gareth O’Brien out of the club which makes their win last time out all the more remarkable – and shows their ability to overcome troubles, something Betts has alluded to. “The rumours [of instability] have been there for the last two years but they always seem to fight through adversity,” Widnes’ coach explained. The visiting Red Devils have made just one change to their nineteen man squad with Ryan Lannon coming into the fold to replace Luke Burgess who is unavailable.

Both teams are struggling for form right now with Widnes only having one win in the last five and, while Salford have one more victory in the same timeframe, it is hard to back the Red Devils to win considering their appalling away form. For that reason, I am of the belief that Widnes will just edge this game.

Score prediction: Widnes by 4

Widnes Vikings squad: Burke, Chamberlain, T. Chapelhow, Craven, Dean, Hanbury, Heremaia, Houston, Ince, Inu, Johnstone, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, Olbison, Runciman, B. Walker, Whitley, Wilde

Salford Red Devils squad: Bibby, Evalds, Flanagan, Hauraki, Johnson, Jones, Kopczak, Lannon, Littlejohn, Lui, McCarthy, Mossop, Olpherts, Nakubuwai, Sa’u, Tasi, Tomkins, Welham, Wood

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