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 21st May
Castleford Tigers16 - 24Huddersfield Giants
Fri 22nd May
Hull FC10 - 17St Helens
Leeds Rhinos36 - 16Hull K R
Salford Red Devils18 - 34Warrington Wolves
Sat 23rd May
Catalans Dragons58 - 16Wigan Warriors
Sun 24th May
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 30th May
Salford Red DevilsvsWidnes Vikings
Hull FCvsHull K R
Leeds RhinosvsWigan Warriors
Sun 31st May
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
St HelensvsWarrington Wolves
Castleford TigersvsWakefield Wildcats
Thu 4th Jun
Widnes VikingsvsHull FC
Fri 5th Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Castleford Tigers
St Helens0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Warrington WolvesvsCatalans Dragons
Sun 7th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Wigan Warriors
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Leeds Rhinos
Thu 11th Jun
Leeds RhinosvsCastleford Tigers
Fri 12th Jun
St HelensvsWigan Warriors
Sat 13th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsHull FC
Sun 14th Jun
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Hull K R0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Thu 18th Jun
Castleford TigersvsSt Helens
Fri 19th Jun
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Sat 20th Jun
Catalans DragonsvsWakefield Wildcats
Sun 21st Jun
Hull K R0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Hull FC
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Thu 2nd Jul
Warrington WolvesvsWigan Warriors
Fri 3rd Jul
Leeds RhinosvsSt Helens
Sun 5th Jul
Huddersfield Giants0 - 0Hull K R
Hull FC0 - 0Wakefield Wildcats
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Castleford Tigers0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Thu 9th Jul
Wigan WarriorsvsLeeds Rhinos
Fri 10th Jul
St Helens0 - 0Huddersfield Giants
Sun 12th Jul
Hull FC0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Salford Red Devils0 - 0Hull K R
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Warrington Wolves
Widnes Vikings0 - 0Catalans Dragons
Thu 16th Jul
Warrington WolvesvsSt Helens
Fri 17th Jul
Hull K R0 - 0Hull FC
Leeds Rhinos0 - 0Salford Red Devils
Wigan Warriors0 - 0Widnes Vikings
Sat 18th Jul
Catalans DragonsvsHuddersfield Giants
Sun 19th Jul
Wakefield Wildcats0 - 0Castleford Tigers
Thu 23rd Jul
Hull FCvsWigan 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