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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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First Utility Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||3||2|
|10||Salford Red Devils||3||2|
|First Utility Super League|
|Thursday 5th March|
|20:00||Hull FC vs Leeds Rhinos|
|Friday 6th March|
|20:00||Wakefield Wildcats 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|
|Sunday 8th March|
|15:00||Warrington Wolves vs Hull K R|
|Thursday 12th March|
|20:00||Huddersfield vs Castleford|
|Friday 13th March|
|20:00||Warrington vs Leeds|
|20:00||Wigan vs Hull|
|20:00||Widnes Vikings vs St Helens|
|First Utility Super League|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Widnes Vikings 16 - 58 Wakefield Wildcats|
|Hull K R 22 - 20 Wigan Warriors|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Salford Red Devils 32 - 28 Hull FC|
|Catalans Dragons 38 - 18 Warrington Wolves|
|Friday 27th February|
|St Helens 21 - 14 Castleford Tigers|
|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|
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