Talking points ahead of this weekend’s Super League

Can Salford get back on track against Hull?

Two home defeats in succession would be far from a crisis for second-placed Salford Red Devils – but defeat to Hull FC tonight would certainly leave some people asking about their top-four credentials. Win, and Ian Watson’s side remain within touching distance of league leaders Castleford but lose, and their cushion over the side in fifth may be down to just two points come Sunday evening.

Will Widnes continue their climb up the table?

Leigh’s surprise win against Wigan on Thursday night saw Widnes drop back to the bottom – but the fact they climbed off the foot of the Super League table for the first time in over two months last week suggests Denis Betts’ side are on the right track. Back-to-back wins against Leeds and Catalans will have the Vikings in upbeat mood ahead of tonight’s trip to St Helens.

Are Wakefield genuine title contenders?

Win on Saturday night, and they may well be, you know. If results, and a fair old swing in points difference, go their way, Trinity could finish the weekend in second place on the table. Heady days indeed for Chris Chester’s side. However, standing in their way are third-placed Leeds in the undoubted game of the round: a 7pm kick-off should create a big buzz around Wakefield hopefully for these two great West Yorkshire rivals.

Are Huddersfield the favourites in the south of France?

In terms of the race to avoid the Qualifiers, Saturday’s game between Catalans and Huddersfield is huge. And that’s probably an understatement. The fact the Giants can leapfrog Catalans and go into the top eight with a win on Saturday is a fine indictment to their revival under Rick Stone – and for the first time in a long time, are the Dragons underdogs on their home turf against one of their big rivals to avoid the bottom four?

Who on Earth plays half-back for Warrington on Sunday?

The obvious candidate is Stefan Ratchford given his prior experience in the halves – but the Wolves are so light on players across their whole backline, it’s difficult to put a team together for Sunday’s daunting trip to league leaders Castleford with no Kevin Brown or Kurt Gidley. Under-19s prospect Will Dagger, who could yet debut, has experience in the halves too – or it could even end up being a makeshift pivot partnering Dec Patton. Either way, it could be a grim afternoon for Tony Smith’s side.