Super League preview: Hull FC v Widnes Vikings
Jamie Shaul replaces the injured Shannon McDonnell in the Hull FC squad for Friday's Super League game against Widnes.
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 02/08/13 7:37pm
Having stunned Warrington to reach the Challenge Cup final last weekend, Peter Gentle's men will be looking to go some way to cementing their position in the top eight.
Hull currently occupy the final play-off place and a win will take them within a point of St Helens in seventh and, more importantly, open up a three-point gap to Wakefield in ninth.
For the Vikings, the play-offs are no more than a long shot but they will still be hoping to pick up the two points in East Yorkshire to draw level with Bradford on 18 points.
The home side make just one change to the squad that saw off Warrington on Sunday with Jamie Shaul replacing the injured Shannon McDonnell. The youngster has scored five tries in his two senior appearances his season.
The Vikings bring in Patrick Ah Van and Gareth Hock for the clash with Danny Craven and Alex Gerrard dropping out of the 19.
Head coach Denis Betts admits that things don't look fantastic for his side but believes that they are in a good position to kick on in the final few games of the season.
"Overall, it doesn't look fantastic and we're not competing in semis and finals at the moment, but we're climbing the table and making percentage gains in every area of the field that we need to," he said.
"That is what is going to continue through these last 5 games. This is a really important part of the year for us. We've talked about how we finish and the perception moving forward again for the whole squad."
Hull FC squad: Arundel, Briscoe, Crookes, Ellis, Green, Heremaia, Holdsworth, Houghton, Lineham, Lynch, Miller, O'Meley, Pitts, Shaul, Tickle, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman
Widnes Vikings squad: Ah Van, Allen, Brown, Cahill, Clarke, Gore, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Kavanagh, Lawton, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O'Carroll, Owens, Phelps, Winterstein