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Super League: Salford Red Devils v Wakefield Wildcats preview
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Salford kick-off their second season under the ownership of Marwan Koukash against Wakefield Wildcats with considerably higher ambitions than their lowly 2013 finish.
Koukash has invested heavily in his squad, bringing in Rangi Chase, Gareth Hock, Tim Smith and Adrian Morley as the Red Devils look to qualify for the play-offs.
Salford finished bottom of the pile in 2013 while Wakefield, who have endured off-field problems during the close-season, also finished outside the top eight.
Home coach Brian Noble now has a Red Devils squad capable of challenging Super League's elite clubs, but the Wildcats, as they have so-often done in the past, will be out to spoil Koukash's party.
Noble includes just six players from 2013 in his 19-man squad for the first game under the new Red Devils banner.
Former New Zealand Warriors forward Steve Rapira, who is still in rehab, is the only one of the club's 14 new signings not set to make their debut.
"We're now seen as a bit of a glamour club so we will be a big scalp for opposing sides," new skipper Morley told the club's official website. "We know what to expect.
"They will raise their game but that's what we want really, as I'm confident that it will drive our level up. There will be pressures on us internally and externally and hopefully, that pressure will generate better performances from us."
Wakefield include seven of their eight close-season signings, including overseas trio Scott Anderson, Pita Godinet and Matty Ryan, who only arrived in the country on Monday.
Props Richard Moore and Chris Annakin are the only players missing through injury.
"I feel we are at a stronger starting point than we were two years ago," Agar told the Yorkshire Evening Post.
"We have been through this before and it may be that we evolve and find a better style of playing as the season goes on and we get to know each other a bit more."
Salford Red Devils: Ashurst, Chase, Dixon, Griffin, Hansen, Hock, Howarth, Johnson, Lee, McPherson, Meli, Morley, Mullaney, Puletua, Smith, Sa'u, Tasi, Walton, Williams.
Wakefield Wildcats: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Keinhorst, Lyne, Sykes, Godinet, Anderson, McShane, Smith, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook, Walshaw, Ryan, Tautai, Raleigh, Briscoe, Wildie.
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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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