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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||27||23|
|10||Salford Red Devils||27||23|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||27||10|
|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 Wolves vs Salford Red Devils|
|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|
|First Utility Super League|
|Saturday 11th October|
|St Helens 14 - 6 Wigan|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Wigan 16 - 12 Warrington|
|Thursday 2nd October|
|St Helens 30 - 12 Catalans Dragons|
|Friday 26th September|
|Huddersfield 16 - 18 Catalans Dragons|
|Thursday 25th September|
|Castleford 14 - 30 Warrington|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Leeds 20 - 24 Catalans Dragons|
|Warrington 22 - 19 Widnes|
|Friday 19th September|
|St Helens 41 - 0 Castleford|
|Thursday 18th September|
|Wigan 57 - 4 Huddersfield|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Wakefield 18 - 42 Hull K R|
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