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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Lomax looks the man to follow for Saints

England international can get on the scoresheet

St Helens's Jonny Lomax
1 of 1

Betfred Super League
Sky Sports Arena, 8pm Thursday

Wigan’s loss to Castleford on Sunday has put qualification for the Betfred Super League semi-finals back in St Helens's hands and Saints are 1-7 to take full advantage by seeing off Salford at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The match prices and the 16-point handicap start afforded to the Red Devils reflect the fact that the visitors are in must-win territory and the hosts have nothing to play for.

In mid-season, it all looked rosy for Salford when they were in the top four, but Ian Watson’s team have won just two of their last 13 league games and only one of their six starts in the Super 8s.

Just how fired up the Red Devils will be is anybody’s guess. They put in a strong home performance a fortnight ago when hammering Huddersfield 52-14 but collapsed to a 44-2 loss at Leeds last time out.

Coach Watson has centre Kris Welham available after a toe injury while Saints boss Justin Holbrook is set to keep faith with the team who thrashed the Giants 40-16.

Another victory will ensure Saints finish at least fourth barring a Wigan win at Wakefield by a mammoth margin on Saturday.

However, anyone siding with the favourites should be wary of their recent record against Salford.

Saints have lost on their last two trips to the AJ Bell - 22-14 in March and 44-10 last season, and when the teams last met at the Totally Wicked Stadium in June, St Helens scrambled home 25-24.

There are too many imponderables to recommend betting on the outcome of the match but a couple of wagers appeal in the tryscorer markets.

Jonny Lomax is expected to shake off a knock to take his place alongside Danny Richardson in the halves for Saints and the England international looks a decent bet to get on the scoresheet at 11-8 and at 13-1 to grab the opener.

Lomax bagged a brace in last weekend’s win and scored the crucial last-gasp try at Wakefield to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive in the previous outing. He also touched down in both meetings with Salford this term.

The Red Devils' joint-top tryscorer Ben Murdoch-Masila continues to be underrated by the layers and appeals at 5-2 to add to his season's tally of 14.

J Lomax to score a try
2pts 11-8 Betfred
J Lomax to score the first try
0.5pt 13-1 Betfair, Paddy Power
B Murdoch-Masila to score a try
1pt 5-2 Ladbrokes, Coral

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Lomax bagged a brace in last weekend’s win and scored the crucial late try at Wakefield to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive
E.W. Terms
Sky bet