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Super League match preview: Huddersfield Giants v Bradford Bulls
Huddersfield Giants will be out to protect their 100 per cent start to the season when local rivals Bradford Bulls come to the John Smith's Stadium on Sunday.
The Giants made it four wins from four outings last weekend courtesy of a hard-fought 18-16 win over Wakefield Wildcats while the Bulls were put the sword at home by St Helens.
The match will be Wales international Craig Kopczak's first against Bradford since he infamously quits the Bulls last season on the eve of their Super League clash against Catalan Dragons.
The visiting teams claimed the spoils in league action in 2012 with Bradford securing a 34-12 win at the Giants after Huddersfield had previous emerged from Odsal with a 20-6 triumph.
Huddersfield prop Craig Kopczak returns to face his old club after recovering from a neck injury that forced him to sit out last Sunday's win at Wakefield.
He takes the place of Stuart Fielden while fellow front-rower Ukuma Ta'ai is in line to make his second appearance for the club.
Bradford are set to be unchanged, although hooker Adam O'Brien is standing by in case co-captain Matt Diskin fails to recover from the dead leg he sustained during last week's home defeat by St Helens.
Huddersfield Giants: Grix, George, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Lunt, Kopczak, Ferres, Faiumu, Patrick, Chan, Ta'ai, Murphy, Cording, Fairbank, Mullally.
Bradford Bulls: Donaldson, Sidlow, O'Brien, Manuokafoa, Langley, Diskin, Scruton, Kearney, L'Estrange, Blythe, Lulia, Whitehead, Kear, Sammut, Addy, Olbison, C. Walker, Murphy, Foster.
What they said...
Huddersfield Giants head coach Paul Anderson
"It would be great to get a good performance on Sunday and see the crowd buzzing again," he told the club's official website.
"We seem to rise to the big occasions and give our best performances on big stages and that is what the Bulls present to us."
Bradford Bulls head coach Francis Cummins
"We've just got to play our game and if there is a weakness somewhere then we've got to go and find it. That might not necessarily be Craig, it might be somebody else," Cummings said to the Bradford Telegraph and Argus.
"You can't hold grudges and, while there's definitely a bit of spice this weekend, I'm not into burning up any emotional energy."
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalan 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|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Catalan Dragons 28 - 6 Castleford|
|London Broncos 36 - 46 Bradford|
|Friday 12th September|
|Salford 36 - 6 Widnes|
|Huddersfield 17 - 16 St Helens|
|Hull 24 - 19 Leeds|
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