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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||25||21|
|12||Salford Red Devils||25||19|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||25||8|
|Thursday 4th September|
|20:00||St Helens vs Warrington|
|Friday 5th September|
|20:00||Wigan vs Leeds|
|Sunday 7th September|
|15:00||Salford vs London Broncos|
|15:00||Hull K R vs Catalan Dragons|
|15:00||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|15:00||Bradford vs Widnes|
|15:30||Castleford vs Wakefield|
|Thursday 11th September|
|20:00||Wigan vs Warrington|
|Friday 12th September|
|20:00||Hull vs Leeds|
|20:00||Huddersfield vs St Helens|
|Sunday 31st August|
|Castleford 32 - 18 Bradford|
|Wakefield 42 - 6 Salford|
|Saturday 30th August|
|Catalan Dragons 46 - 4 London Broncos|
|Friday 29th August|
|Widnes 24 - 10 Wigan|
|Leeds 12 - 13 St Helens|
|Hull 28 - 0 Hull K R|
|Thursday 28th August|
|Warrington 24 - 24 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 17th August|
|Bradford 34 - 28 Hull|
|London Broncos 40 - 36 Leeds|
|Huddersfield 28 - 14 Widnes|
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