Widnes could struggle to stop Salford star breaking through
Junior Sa'u a threat to the Vikings
Widnes v Salford
Sky Sports Arena, 7.45pm Thursday
The Betfred Super League season is less than two months old but already the table is threatening to split in two.
Five teams have lost just once so far. The other seven sides have already been beaten four or five times.
For the slow-starting clubs the first priority is avoiding a bottom-four finish which would put their top-flight status in jeopardy in the second phase of the season.
Widnes and Salford were among the pre-season wooden-spoon favourites and both clubs will regard two wins from six games as a reasonable return.
The Vikings and Red Devils meet at the Stobart Stadium and the winners will strike a significant blow in the battle to make the top eight.
The 11-8 visitors go into the game after an impressive 24-8 victory over Hull but punters considering backing Ian Watson’s side should be aware that Salford haven’t won back-to-back games since last May which was also the last time they triumphed on their travels.
The Red Devils did win 46-10 on their last trip to Widnes though and it’s difficult to be confident about backing the Vikings at 8-11 especially with coach Denis Betts missing several first-teamers through injury.
The hosts have been hard hit in the pack with Gil Dudson, Lloyd White, Alex Gerard and Hep Cahill all sidelined.
In the circumstances, it may be wise to look at other markets than the match outcome.
Salford have opened the scoring with a penalty in their last two outings which indicates their mindset is to take any early points on offer.
It’s 8-1 against a Red Devils two-pointer being the opening score and that can be chanced.
It may also be worth backing the visitors' chief attacking weapon Junior Sa’u to cross the whitewash at 7-4.
The dynamic centre bagged nine tries in 21 Super League outings in 2017 and has notched twice this term including in Salford’s last away game at Castleford.
J Sa’u to score a try
1pt 7-4 Coral, Ladbrokes
Salford penalty first scoring play
1pt 8-1 general
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