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Super League match preview: Widnes Vikings v St Helens
Widnes Vikings go in search of their first Super League win against St Helens having lost all 15 previous meetings.
The Vikings, who went down 24-23 at home to the Saints last season, have not beaten the club since a 20-17 victory in the Stones Bitter Championship in April 1994.
England forward Gareth Hock is in line to make his Widnes debut after recovering from close-season shoulder surgery.
Veteran full-back Shaun Briscoe and centre Cameron Phelps also return after sitting out last week's opening win at London.
Rhys Hanbury switches from full-back to scrum-half in place of the injured Danny Craven.
Widnes head coach Denis Betts has called on fans to come out in force, telling the Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News: "It is absolutely vital we get a big crowd in to support the lads this weekend.
"If we can make the Stobart Stadium a real cauldron of noise no team will want to come and play here."
St Helens coach Nathan Brown retains the team that crashed to a 40-4 home defeat by Huddersfield as they look to maintain their 100 per cent Super League record against the Vikings.
Winger Ade Gardner and Anthony Walker are dual registered with Whitehaven this weekend whilst Alex Walmsley is also expected to play with Batley.
Brown is not reading too much into Saints' heavy defeat on home soil ahead of their weekend trip to Widnes.
"I have been around too long to worry about pressing panic buttons. We know where we are heading and you take the good with the bad," he told the St Helens Star.
"I remember two years ago when I was with Giants we absolutely battered Warrington on the first day - and I think Warrington only lost one game in the next four months."
Widnes: Allen, Briscoe, Cahill, Clarke, Cross, Flynn, Gerrard, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joseph, Leuluai, Marsh, Mellor, O'Carroll, Phelps, Pickersgill, White, Winterstein
St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Turner, Soliola, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Perry, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Puletua, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Jones, Gaskell, Makinson, Greenwood
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Leeds|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|20:00||Salford vs St Helens|
|Friday 13th February|
|20:00||Hull vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Widnes|
|20:00||Wigan vs Huddersfield|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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