The big occasion could well help Hull KR stop their bitter rivals’ bid to reclaim top spot in the third Hull derby of the Super League season tonight.
Rarely does this fixture disappoint in terms of entertainment and drama, and while the two sides are both desperate for the wins for different reasons, tonight’s game promises to be as intense as the previous two meetings this season.
Hull FC lead 2-0 in competitive derby wins in 2016, but they’ve had to work hard for both of those victories, coming from behind on both occasions to see off their bitter cross-city rivals, Hull KR.
It’s been a stunning year for the Airlie Birds, who led the way at the top of Super League until a shock defeat at home to Leeds last week, and they are well odds-on at 1/3 to win at home tonight.
Meanwhile, the visiting Rovers are 5/2 to go back to East Hull with the two points, which they need to keep their top eight dreams alive.
A win for FC would see them leapfrog Wigan back into first place, and head coach Lee Radford will be able to call upon a number of his key men for the derby, with Liam Watts and Mark Minnichiello being passed fit after coming off injured against Leeds – while returning captain Gareth Ellis provides another boost for Radford.
Ellis’ importance to the cause cannot be underestimated, highlighted by the fact they’ve lost twice in his absence. His ability to play big minutes alongside Minnichiello is huge, and it ‘s 3/1 the Hull FC captain scores on his return tonight.
Radford’s opposite number, James Webster – who turned out for both Hull teams in his playing career – will be hoping Rovers can again come out of the blocks firing, but this time hold on to their lead. They are 2/1 to be leading at half-time again.
While Hull have fallen to two defeats on the bounce, knocking them off their perch at the top of Super League in the process, Hull KR have recorded a draw against Warrington and a comeback victory over Huddersfield last week, and are 10/11 to cover the +10 point handicap.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing