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Super League preview: Huddersfield Giants v Salford City Reds
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Super League leaders Huddersfield Giants host the struggling Salford City Reds at the Galpharm Stadium on Sunday as they look to extend their lead at the summit.
Heading into Round 23, the Giants hold a slender one-point advantage over Wigan but could find themselves behind come kick-off with the Warriors facing Hull KR on Friday evening.
The Giants enter the clash with four consecutive victories to their name and have had two weeks to prepare, which captain Danny Brough believes stands his side in good stead.
"We have had two weeks to build again following the Castleford game," he told the club's official site. "Training has been a lot more intense this week so we are ready for the game against Salford."
Giants coach Paul Anderson has made three changes to side which triumphed 48-32 over the Tigers last time out.
Winger Luke George misses out on the 19-man squad with Leroy Cudjoe preferred, while forwards Dale Ferguson and Anthony Mullally are replaced by props Nathan Mason and Josh Johnson.
Meanwhile, Salford coach Brian Noble has made a number of changes to his squad ahead of the trip across the Pennines.
There are two switches in the backs as winger Jodie Broughton and centre Martin Gleeson are left out, while utility men Niall Evalds and Ryan McGoldrick join the travelling party.
It is the forward line which sees the most changes, six in total, with props Shannan McPherson, Jordan James, Lee Jewitt, Jacob Emmitt and Darrel Griffin all excluded alongside second row Matty Ashurst.
Hooker Gareth Owens is the lone replacement from the first team squad as Noble calls on academy forwards Jordan Walne, Will Hope, Alex Davidson, Dan Brotherton as well as recalling released half-back Liam Foran.
Although the Reds sit 13th of 14 teams in the Super League standings they have been victorious in three of the previous five meetings between the sides.
Giants: Grix, Cudjoe, Wardle, McGillvary, Brough, Robinson, Crabtree, Kopczak, Ferres, Faiumu, Lawrence, Patrick, Ta'ai, Murphy, Cording, Johnson, Mason, Blackmore, Wood.
Reds: Gaskell, D. Williams, McGoldrick, Gibson, Evalds, Sneyd, Fages, A. Walne, Godwin, Neal, Davies, Wild, J. Walne, Hope, Owen, Davidson, Brotherton, Foran, Dixon.
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First Utility Super League Table
|5||Hull K R||0||0|
|7||Salford Red Devils||0||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th February|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|Friday 6th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Catalans Dragons|
|Saturday 7th February|
|15:00||Warrington vs Salford|
|Sunday 8th February|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|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|
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