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Super League: Salford Red Devils host St Helens at AJ Bell Stadium
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Salford have the opportunity to reach the Super League summit for the first time in their history when they host St Helens on Thursday, live on Sky Sports 1.
Last year's wooden-spoon side are enjoying their best start to a top flight season since 1997; when they won their first five outings under the tutelage of Andy Gregory, yet they remained below Bradford Bulls on points difference.
Brian Noble's Red Devils opened their season with victory over Wakefield Wildcats, before racing to a 44-18 win at London Broncos last Saturday.
Similarly, the Saints' 2014 campaign is in the midst of a victorious start after they beat last year's runners-up Warrington Wolves in their season curtain-raiser before beating Hull FC at Langtree Park last time out.
St Helens have won 29 of the 33 Super League meetings between the clubs, with Salford's last home victory being a 42-34 triumph at The Willows in May 2010.
There have been a raft of changes since Saints' 52-10 victory in the corresponding fixture in June 2013, with Salford owner Marwan Koukash investing heavily, with 14 new signings.
However, Noble will be without prop Darrell Griffin and newcomers Rangi Chase and Junior Sa'u, who are all sidelined through injury.
There is a boost for Salford in the form of Adrian Morley, with the veteran captain back to lead the side after sitting out the win over London.
"We've had a little bit of disruption early on with injuries but we've got a good team going out on Thursday and we want a good performance," Noble said.
St Helens coach Nathan Brown has called up back-rower Mark Flanagan, who has not played since sustaining a major knee injury last April.
However, the Saints boss is expected to keep the team that began the season with back-to-back wins as he prepares to face a strengthened Salford side.
"I think what's happened there has been great for the game," Brown claimed. "This game in particular in the past could have been seen as a standard St Helens win I suppose."
Red Devils: Mullaney, Williams, Gleeson, Sa'u, Meli, Smith, Morley, Lee, Puletua, Hock, Hansen, Fages, Dixon, McPherson, Ashurst, Walton, Johnson, Howarth.
Saints:Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Jones, Swift, Hohaia, Walsh, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Wheeler.
You can follow all the action from the AJ Bell Stadium as the Salford Red Devils take on St Helens live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7:30pm on Thursday.
|Click here for more betting|
First Utility Super League Table
|10||Hull K R||2||0|
|12||Salford Red Devils||2||0|
|First Utility Super League|
|Friday 27th February|
|20:00||St Helens vs Castleford Tigers|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:00||Catalans Dragons vs Warrington Wolves|
|19:30||Salford Red Devils vs Hull FC|
|Sunday 1st March|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Wigan Warriors|
|15:00||Widnes Vikings vs Wakefield Wildcats|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield vs St Helens|
|20:00||Huddersfield Giants vs Widnes Vikings|
|20:00||Castleford Tigers vs Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:30||Catalans Dragons vs Salford Red Devils|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 26th February|
|Leeds Rhinos 28 - 24 Huddersfield Giants|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wakefield 44 - 24 Hull K R|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Catalans Dragons 13 - 12 Castleford|
|Friday 13th February|
|Hull 6 - 7 Warrington|
|Leeds 38 - 6 Widnes|
|Wigan 24 - 16 Huddersfield|
|Thursday 12th February|
|Salford 6 - 52 St Helens|
|Sunday 8th February|
|Castleford 22 - 24 Wakefield|
|Huddersfield 0 - 19 Hull|
|Hull K R 30 - 40 Leeds|
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