The Super League is back on terrestrial TV again on Saturday when Channel 4 covers what is actually a huge match between the Salford Red Devils and the Huddersfield Giants as we head towards the end of the regular season.
These two teams both have their different reasons for winning this match. Salford dropped two points behind Leeds in the race for sixth place on Friday night while Huddersfield are still chasing a top two finish.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on Channel 4 with the build-up at the AJ Bell Stadium beginning at 12.30pm and the match kicking off at 1pm.
Salford Red Devils
The Salford Red Devils had a pretty ordinary start to the season but they have really come good in the second half of it and until Leeds won on Friday night were probably being considered as the favourites to snatch the final spot in the play-offs. They can still get that position but they will need to win this match to stay close to the Rhinos with there only being four regular season matches left after this one.
The good thing for the Red Devils is they are at home here. That is because they have won their last three matches at the AJ Bell Stadium and have piled up the points in that time. Among those wins is one against the champions St Helens so Salford clearly mean business on their own patch. They had won five in succession outside of the Magic Weekend until they were beaten by the Leeds Rhinos last week, a loss which did nothing to help their top six ambitions.
This has already been an excellent season for the Huddersfield Giants after they reached the final of the Challenge Cup earlier in the campaign. They are going to make the top six in the table at the end of the regular season too so they will be three wins away from winning the Super League title, although that could yet be two wins should they manage to force their way into the top two come the end of the first stage of the campaign.
Huddersfield are the side in the top six who top all the statistics that matter which don’t tend to stand out and look flashy on the eye. They complete a lot of sets and kick for territory but when they get to the opposing line they have the players who can open the opposition up and get over the try line. Because they are so solid their defence doesn’t take untold damage so they are a hard side to beat, although they go into this one having lost their last two away matches, albeit at Catalans and St Helens.
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Salford Red Devils will be without Dan Sarginson and Sam Luckley who both picked up injuries last week but they do have Harvey Livett and Tyler Dupree to be able to call upon for this match. Ryan Brierley could return too.
Huddersfield Giants are without a couple of backs for this match in the form of Ashton Golding and Will Pryce who are both out with injury. Chris Hill is back in action though and he could occupy a spot on the bench.
You have to take notice of the Salford Red Devils home form. Their last three matches at home have seen them beat Wakefield 74-10, Catalans Dragons 32-6 and St Helens 44-12 so they are piling up the points on home turf and they aren’t conceding many either, and two of those wins are very appealing in terms of the standard of team they have beaten. Huddersfield aren’t built to pile up the points unless the opposition have a mare so it will be interesting to see how they cope with this rampant Salford offense.
Huddersfield Giants have lost their last two on the road and whenever we get to this stage of a season I’m always reluctant to take a team who are safely in a position like Huddersfield are. Even if it is subconsciously there is an element of saving themselves for the matches that matter down the line. Salford can’t afford to do that and the way they are expressing themselves at home I think they are the ones to be on in this match.
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