Super League: Salford Red Devils host St Helens at AJ Bell Stadium
Last Updated: 27/02/14 7:37pm
Salford have the opportunity to reach the Super League summit for the first time in their history when they host St Helens on Thursday, live on Sky Sports 1.
Last year's wooden-spoon side are enjoying their best start to a top flight season since 1997; when they won their first five outings under the tutelage of Andy Gregory, yet they remained below Bradford Bulls on points difference.
Brian Noble's Red Devils opened their season with victory over Wakefield Wildcats, before racing to a 44-18 win at London Broncos last Saturday.
Similarly, the Saints' 2014 campaign is in the midst of a victorious start after they beat last year's runners-up Warrington Wolves in their season curtain-raiser before beating Hull FC at Langtree Park last time out.
St Helens have won 29 of the 33 Super League meetings between the clubs, with Salford's last home victory being a 42-34 triumph at The Willows in May 2010.
There have been a raft of changes since Saints' 52-10 victory in the corresponding fixture in June 2013, with Salford owner Marwan Koukash investing heavily, with 14 new signings.
However, Noble will be without prop Darrell Griffin and newcomers Rangi Chase and Junior Sa'u, who are all sidelined through injury.
There is a boost for Salford in the form of Adrian Morley, with the veteran captain back to lead the side after sitting out the win over London.
"We've had a little bit of disruption early on with injuries but we've got a good team going out on Thursday and we want a good performance," Noble said.
St Helens coach Nathan Brown has called up back-rower Mark Flanagan, who has not played since sustaining a major knee injury last April.
However, the Saints boss is expected to keep the team that began the season with back-to-back wins as he prepares to face a strengthened Salford side.
"I think what's happened there has been great for the game," Brown claimed. "This game in particular in the past could have been seen as a standard St Helens win I suppose."
Red Devils: Mullaney, Williams, Gleeson, Sa'u, Meli, Smith, Morley, Lee, Puletua, Hock, Hansen, Fages, Dixon, McPherson, Ashurst, Walton, Johnson, Howarth.
Saints:Lomax, Makinson, Turner, Jones, Swift, Hohaia, Walsh, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Soliola, Wilkin, Manu, Laffranchi, Flanagan, Amor, Wellens, Walmsley, Percival, Wheeler.
You can follow all the action from the AJ Bell Stadium as the Salford Red Devils take on St Helens live on Sky Sports 1HD from 7:30pm on Thursday.
First Utility Super League
Thu 26th Mar
Salford Red Devils36 - 8Widnes Vikings
Fri 27th Mar
Castleford Tigers20 - 14Hull FC
Hull K R24 - 22St Helens
Warrington Wolves10 - 29Huddersfield Giants
Wigan Warriors52 - 10Wakefield Wildcats
Sat 28th Mar
Catalans Dragons22 - 38Leeds Rhinos
Thu 2nd Apr
Hull FCvsHull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Fri 3rd Apr
Castleford TigersvsLeeds Rhinos
Wigan WarriorsvsSt Helens
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Mon 6th Apr
Warrington WolvesvsCastleford Tigers
Hull K R0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Wigan Warriors
St Helens0 - 0Hull FC
Catalans DragonsvsWidnes Vikings
Fri 10th Apr
Hull FCvsWidnes Vikings
Sat 11th Apr
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Castleford TigersvsHull K R
Sun 12th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0St Helens
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Apr
Wigan WarriorsvsWarrington Wolves
Fri 17th Apr
St HelensvsLeeds Rhinos
Sun 19th Apr
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Apr
Wakefield WildcatsvsWigan Warriors
Fri 24th Apr
Hull FC0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Leeds RhinosvsWarrington Wolves
St Helens0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 25th Apr
Catalans DragonsvsHull K R
Sun 26th Apr
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 30th Apr
Huddersfield GiantsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 1st May
Hull FC0 - 0Salford Red Devils
St Helens0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Hull K R
Sun 3rd May
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 7th May
Hull K RvsWakefield Wildcats
Fri 8th May
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Sat 9th May
Catalans DragonsvsSt Helens
Sun 10th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Warrington Wolves0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 21st May
Castleford TigersvsHuddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC0 - 0St Helens
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull K R
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans DragonsvsWigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Hull FC0 - 0Hull K R
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Super League 2014, round three
Hull KR centre Kris Welham has been charged with a grade A offence of head-butting Castleford full-back Luke Dorn.
Catalan Dragons hooker Ian Henderson has been ruled out for up to three months with a broken forearm.
Lee Radford was left to reflect on his side's poor first-half showing as Hull went down 18-16 at Warrington.
- Cummins hails Bulls character
- Wigan response pleases Wane
- Warrington secure first win
- Bulls see off gritty Broncos
- Wigan too strong for Wildcats
- Brumbies blitz Force in Perth
- Powell hails Finn-tastic Liam
- McDermott: Credit to the teams
- Anderson: We must improve
- Giants fail to repel Vikings
- Tigers too tough for Rovers
- Wolves v Hull FC: Teams
- Warriors v Wildcats: Teams
- Bulls v Broncos: Teams
- Hock blow for beaten Salford
- Saints shut out Red Devils
- Morley: Salford going places
- Vikings v Giants: Teams
- Hull KR v Tigers: Teams
- Dragons v Rhinos: Teams
- Brown wants more like Koukash
- Powell: Dragons must tidy up
- Noble welcomes 'golden ticket'
- Beard to be feared
- Salford suffer Griffin setback