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Super League: St Helens v Bradford Bulls preview
St Helens will be hoping to put to bed their heavy defeat at Hull KR last Sunday by returning to winning ways against lowly Bradford Bulls at Langtree Park.
Saints were surprisingly put to the sword last time out, thumped 40-10 at the KC Lightstream Stadium, while the Bulls were unlucky to slip to a late home defeat to Catalan Dragons.
James Lowes took charge of Bradford for the first time against Catalan and while the fallen giants put up a brave showing they missed out on the points courtesy of Elliott Whitehead’s converted try.
Nathan Brown’s men remain top of the Super League ladder despite the loss while Bradford are running out of games to save their Super League status.
Brown has made one change to his 19-man squad for the visit of Lowes’ men. Fit-again prop Kyle Amor returns after recovering from the knee injury sustained in their Challenge Cup defeat at Leeds.
“Despite Sunday’s setback, nothing at all will change at Saints. We will continue to keep doing what we have been doing all season,” centre Jordan turner told the Manchester Evening News.
“We have bought into this and all believe in it. The aim has always been to finish as high as possible.
“We were knocked out of the Challenge Cup and immediately stepped up our desire to be strong in Super League and to challenge. We also know we cannot afford to panic.”
Jamie Foster looks set to make a return to action for the Bulls against his former club after being named in coach Lowes' 19-man squad.
The winger is one of three changes to the line-up which battled Catalan Dragons last weekend, with Nathan Conroy and Alex Mellor both returning to the fray.
He is one of two ex-Saints returning to Langtree Park on Friday with full-back Lee Gaskell, who played for Saints in the 2011 Grand Final, also set to feature.
"It will be a bit of a strange feeling going back there but it will also be very special because of my connections to the club,” Gaskell told the Telegraph and Argus.
"I know they lost on Sunday at Hull KR but they have got a great set of lads and have brought through a lot of home-grown players.
"St Helens is a place where you are brought up on rugby league from an early age and young lads want to go on and play for them."
St Helens: Makinson, Turner, Jones, Swift, Hohaia, Masoe, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Wheeler, Richards, Thompson.
Bradford Bulls: Blythe, Pitts, Olbison, Purtell, Gale, Williams, Donaldson, O'Brien, Mellor, Henry, Conroy, Arundel, Kearney, Foster, Addy, Gaskell, Sidlow, Manuokafoa, Fakir.
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Super League Table
|9||Hull K R||22||20|
|11||Salford Red Devils||22||17|
|13||Bradford Bulls *||22||4|
|Thursday 31st July|
|20:00||Wigan vs Salford|
|Friday 1st August|
|20:00||Hull vs St Helens|
|20:00||Catalan Dragons vs Warrington|
|20:00||Leeds vs Bradford|
|Sunday 3rd August|
|15:00||Widnes vs Hull K R|
|15:00||Wakefield vs Huddersfield|
|15:30||Castleford vs London Broncos|
|Thursday 14th August|
|20:00||Hull K R vs Wigan|
|Friday 15th August|
|20:00||Salford vs Catalan Dragons|
|20:00||Warrington vs Castleford|
|Sunday 27th July|
|Huddersfield 38 - 16 Catalan Dragons|
|Bradford 16 - 8 Wigan|
|Warrington 26 - 40 Wakefield|
|Saturday 26th July|
|London Broncos 10 - 62 Hull K R|
|Friday 25th July|
|Salford 18 - 22 Leeds|
|St Helens 44 - 22 Widnes|
|Thursday 24th July|
|Hull 18 - 18 Castleford|
|Sunday 20th July|
|Hull K R 18 - 38 Salford|
|Huddersfield 52 - 26 Bradford|
|Saturday 19th July|
|Catalan Dragons 40 - 6 Wakefield|
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