The next round of Super League fixtures begins as ever on Thursday night when the leaders St Helens are in action. They make the trip across the M62 to take on the Huddersfield Giants looking to extend their lead at the top.
This is a match between the top and the bottom of the table so it will be interesting to see if the early season form plays out here, or whether there can be a shock to what we’ve seen so far in this campaign.
It has been a tough start to the campaign for the Huddersfield Giants but they picked up their first win of it last week when they took care of the Wigan Warriors but they didn’t look massively impressive and it remains to see what they have beaten. Nevertheless, it gives them something to build on for this match as they look to climb the table.
Nobody has scored fewer points than Huddersfield Giants this term and only the Leeds Rhinos have conceded more points and they have played a game more than Huddersfield. That really highlights what a tough beginning to the campaign it has been so they will really be hoping that the win last week has restored their confidence.
It has been quite the opposite for St Helens, who for the second year running are looking something like a regular season machine. They are going very nicely about their work and are unbeaten so far. What will have really encouraged them is that they haven’t really been pushed in many of their matches and they go into this one off the back of their most emphatic win of the campaign to date.
St Helens have comfortably he best defensive record in the competition so far, helped by not letting London Broncos score a single point last week, and they have been solid if a little unspectacular in attack. With the players they have at their disposal though you would not expect them to struggle in their attacking play for long.
The home side will be without Aaron Murphy for this match as he is injured. Matty English missed out last week but he has been added to their squad for this clash against the league leaders in what is their only change.
St Helens have kept Aaron Smith in their squad for this contest but it is widely expected that James Roby will return in the hooker position. That could be the only change to their side for this match up.
I won with the Huddersfield Giants last week but I’m in no rush to get behind them again for this match. I didn’t think much to them and were the Warriors not really poor I doubt the Giants would have won. I think it is almost impossible for St Helens to be as bad in this match so the natural call is to side with them.
Saints have proven to be tough to break down defensively and while they haven’t set the world alight going forward I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a break out performance in that discipline not too far away. It might come here but given that they are only being required to give up eight points it probably doesn’t need to. I’m happy to take the visitors here.
Back St Helens (-8) to beat Huddersfield Giants for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with William Hill
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