Super League: Salford Red Devils v Bradford Bulls preview
Last Updated: 15/06/14 2:30am
Salford host Bradford on Sunday looking to end an eight game winless streak, while the Bulls will be targeting victory themselves to boost their Super League survival hopes.
The Red Devils last tasted success back in April - beating Sunday's opponents the Bulls 38-24 - leading to mounting pressure on Iestyn Harris' men.
The Bulls are also desperate for a win, given they are scrapping for their Super League lives and this week they lost their appeal against a six-point deduction imposed by the Rugby Football League for going into administration.
But they have not given up the fight and could close to within four points of third-from-bottom Wakefield should they beat Salford and the Wildcats go down to the London Broncos on Friday.
Looking forward to Sunday’s clash, Bradford full-back Lee Gaskell told the Telegraph and Argus: “Salford is a must-win game now, there’s no doubt about that, and we want to be coming off the pitch this week as winners.
“I’m quite surprised they (Salford) have struggled so much because they have got world-class players but when you bring in so many it takes time to gel. There are different personalities and it’s about whether they get on with each other on and off the pitch.
“It would be massive to beat Salford because they’re one of the teams around us and it would drag them right into it, but we’re capable of beating any team on our day. We’ve just got to stick to the game plan and not make so many errors.”
Salford recall fit-again French scrum-half Theo Fages in place of the departed Tim Smith, while Niall Evalds is set to switch to full-back following the return of Greg Eden to Hull KR.
Former Bradford centre Michael Platt is hoping for a recall, along with ex-Batley pair Jay Walton and Greg Johnson, who have both recovered from long-term injury.
Bradford coach Francis Cummins recalls on-loan centre Joe Arundel and forward Jordan Baldwinson, who is set to make his second appearance in the absence of the suspended Jay Pitts.
Salford: Fages, Rapira, Evalds, Sa'u, Johnson, Platt, Chase, J. Walne, Walton, Hock, Lee, Dixon, Ashurst, Puletua, Tasi, Morley, Meli, Tomkins, Griffin.
Bradford: Blythe, Henry, Olbison, Purtell, Gale, Kear, Donaldson, O'Brien, George, Arundel, Diskin, Baldwinson, Foster, Walker, Addy, Gaskell, Sidlow, Manuokafoa, Fakir.