The Marwan Koukash-funded revolution at the Salford Red Devils may have produced the perfect start to this year’s Super League campaign but last year’s wooden spoon winners look set to be given a reality check by St Helens.
The five-time champions visit the AJ Bell Stadium as the heavy 2/7 favourites to triumph, with a Salford victory priced at 5/2 and the draw available at 20/1.
And having won 29 of the pair’s 33 previous Super League meetings, including each of the last seven stretching back to May 2010, it’s easy to see why Nathan Brown’s side are well-fancied.
Koukash may be in the process of assembling a squad capable of lifting the club out of the doldrums but the businessman’s project remains very much in its infancy with a raft of injuries to stellar players already a cause for concern.
Two wins from their opening two games represents a solid start for coach Brian Noble and his outfit but they’ll have to make do without prop Darrell Griffin, stand-off Rangi Chase and centre Junior Sa’u for this upcoming match-up.
However, there are some positives for fans of the Red Devils. Captain Adrian Morley and former Saints star forward Tony Puletua return alongside Andrew Griffin.
But against the visitor’s unchanged line-up, a team who themselves boast a 100 per cent record this season, Salford may well fall short.
St Helens have won their last six encounters against the hosts by an average of 25 points with victory here taking into account a 26-point head-start for the visitors priced at 4/1.
Given that Salford already look a more solid team with their new additions, backing another convincing Saints win may not appeal to some.
Instead, it may pay to look elsewhere with some tempting options available on who’ll go over the line.
Jordan Turner scored twice in St Helens’ 52-10 victory in Salford last term, including the effort that set his side on their way to victory, and is 12/1 to open proceedings again.
Meanwhile, Harrison Hansen has already notched three tries for the hosts during the new campaign and can be found at 10/3 to score at any time here.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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