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Super League preview: Hull FC v Salford City Reds
Hull coach Peter Gentle wants his players to forget about Wembley and instead focus on Friday's Super League fixture against Salford at the KC Stadium.
Despite the Tetley's Challenge Cup final against Wigan looming large on the horizon, the Black and Whites can ill-afford to let two league points slip through their grasp as they look to clinch a play-off berth.
Their 38-20 triumph at Hull KR last Sunday saw them leapfrog over their city rivals into seventh the table, though a top-eight finish is still not guaranteed.
And although the City Reds are languishing at the wrong end of the standings, Gentle has warned his squad not to lose focus and allow their minds to drift to their meeting with the Warriors on a week on Saturday.
"They've got nothing to lose," he said of Salford. "They're dangerous. You can see the Brian Noble touch on them. Their recent results are a bit misleading, they're going to prove a difficult obstacle.
"We can't afford to back off. If we win it, we're in the semi-finals with still a chance to get a home semi but, if we lose, it makes it very difficult.
"We can't afford to be off our game in the slightest and they will smell that. They will start running harder and playing some decent footie.
"So it's a must-win game and it will give us a bit of momentum going into the final."
Ben Galea, Shannon McDonnell and Ben Crooks are all sidelined for Hull, while Tom Lineham looks set to miss out on the cup final after injuring his ankle against Rovers.
Jason Crookes gets the chance to stake a claim for a Wembley spot in place of winger Lineham, while prop Andy Lynch returns to replace fellow veteran Mark O'Meley, who has a slight leg strain.
Salford, meanwhile, have props Darrell Griffin and Jordan James back after two-match absences through suspension and injury respectively.
Hooker Wayne Godwin is set to return to the starting line-up ahead of Gareth Owen as Noble's side look to avenge the 24-18 defeat they suffered at the hands of their next opponents back in April.
Hull: Arundel, Bowden, T. Briscoe, Crookes, Ellis, Green, Holdsworth, Heremaia, Houghton, Lynch, Johnson, Miller, Pitts, Shaul, Tickle, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman.
Salford: Gaskell, D. Williams, McGoldrick, Gibson, Evalds, Sneyd, Fages, A. Walne, Jewitt, Emmitt, Davies, Dixon, Wild, J. Walne, Ashurst, Owen, Griffin, James, Godwin.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||24||21|
|10||Salford Red Devils||24||19|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||24||8|
|Friday 29th August|
|20:00||Widnes vs Wigan|
|20:00||Hull vs Hull K R|
|20:00||Leeds vs St Helens|
|Saturday 30th August|
|17:00||Catalan Dragons vs London Broncos|
|Sunday 31st August|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Salford|
|15:30||Castleford vs Bradford|
|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||Huddersfield vs Hull|
|Thursday 28th August|
|Warrington 24 - 24 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 17th August|
|Bradford 34 - 28 Hull|
|London Broncos 40 - 36 Leeds|
|Huddersfield 28 - 14 Widnes|
|Friday 15th August|
|St Helens 40 - 16 Wakefield|
|Warrington 48 - 10 Castleford|
|Salford 34 - 22 Catalan Dragons|
|Thursday 14th August|
|Hull K R 14 - 14 Wigan|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|Castleford 64 - 18 London Broncos|
|Widnes 28 - 10 Hull K R|
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