St Helens v Hull FC: Three key battles

Ben Barba v Jamie Shaul

The battle of the two fullbacks will be fascinating on Friday – as Hull’s Jamie Shaul becomes the latest player to go head-to-head with perhaps the best player in Super League right now. Ben Barba has been electrifying throughout 2018, and crucial to everything the Saints do well. But Shaul is also having a decent year – albeit slightly more under the radar than Barba – and whoever emerges the stronger of the two players on Friday will likely be on the winning side.

Mark Percival v Carlos Tuimavave

Hull’s Carlos Tuimavave, like team-mate Jamie Shaul, is another who has impressed this season – but might he be coming up against perhaps the best centre in Super League right now on Friday night? Mark Percival seems to be getting better and better, and Tuimavave will have a tough job keeping hold of the in-form three-quarter at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday.

James Roby v Danny Houghton

It could be a night of celebration for Hull captain Danny Houghton on his 300th appearance for the Black and Whites – but he will have a tough night’s work against the talismanic James Roby before Hull can think about two precious competition points. While all the talk concerning St Helens has been about Barba, Saints skipper Roby continues to set the benchmark for both club and country in 2018.