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Super League: Widnes Vikings v Salford Red Devils preview
- Radford: Rovers the favourites
- Returning Ferres fired up
- Shenton seeks magic formula
- Grima still upbeat on survival
- Jones-Buchanan: Leeds firing
- Wildcats grab Tiger Owen
- Flanagan targets league shield
- London boss defends Drinkwater
- Betts: We showed character
- London edged out by Catalan
- Warrington back to their best
- Rovers claim bragging rights
- Warriors battle past Rhinos
- Giants run riot against Bulls
- Cas thrash woeful Wildcats
- Vikings too strong for Salford
Widnes have been boosted by the availability of Kevin Brown for Saturday's clash with Salford at Magic Weekend - the third meeting of the teams already this year.
The Vikings got the better of the Red Devils by a 32-18 scoreline in Super League action back in March before then also knocking the same team out of the Tetley's Challenge Cup last month.
The cup exit has been part of a tough start to the job for coach Iestyn Harris, who has won just once since taking over from Brian Noble.
Salford did manage a 16-16 tie with Hull KR last time out; they find themselves down in 11th place in the table but are only a point off a play-off place.
This week the club made the announcement of the signing of Ben Jones-Bishop for next season, the capture of the Leeds Rhino following on from the acquisition of New Zealand full-back Kevin Locke.
While Harris can look forward to having the pair in his squad for next season, his immediate issue this weekend is who to field at half-back next to Rangi Chase.
Tim Smith is still absent while Theo Fages picked up a shoulder injury in the draw with Rovers, ruling the young Frenchman out for the next five weeks.
Tommy Lee will likely be asked to switch into the role from his usual position of hooker, while the Red Devils are able to call upon full-back Greg Eden again after he had to sit out the clash with his parent club last time out.
Widnes, meanwhile, not only have Brown - who suffered a heavy knock in the home loss to Wakefield in round 12 - available but are also able to welcome back Rhys Hanbury.
Denis Betts will hope his team fair better than they did in the corresponding Manchester fixture last year, when their opponents - who were then known as the Salford City Reds - triumphed 28-22.
The Vikings are yet to taste success in the showpiece event in the regular season, having lost heavily the previous year at the Etihad to Warrington.
Widnes: Allen, Brown, Clarke, Clough, Craven, Dean, Flynn, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Johnson, Joseph, Kavanagh, Lawton, Leuluai, Marsh, Owens, Tickle, White.
Salford: Ashurst, Chase, Eden, Gleeson, Griffin, Hansen, Hock, Howarth, Lee, Meli, Morley, Mullaney, Platt, Puletua, Rapira, Sa'u, Tasi, Tomkins, Williams.
You can watch all four of Saturday's Super League's Magic Weekend fixtures, including Widnes v Salford, from 12pm on Sky Sports 3 HD
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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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