Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kick off: 15:00
Referee: James Child
Salford Red Devils: 18 Mason Caton-Brown, 6 Rangi Chase, 7 Michael Dobson, 19 Niall Evalds, 14 Theo Fages, 15 Darrell Griffin, 25 George Griffin, 3 Josh Griffin, 11 Harrison Hansen, 12 Weller Hauraki, 24 Liam Hood, 2 Ben Jones-Bishop, 38 Olsi Krasniqi, 8 Adrian Morley, 31 Cory Paterson, 4 Junior Sa’u, 16 Scott Taylor, 37 Logan Tomkins, 17 Jordan Walne
Hull KR: 6 Maurice Blair, 24 John Boudebza, 2 Ben Cockayne, 22 Jordan Cox, 1 Kieran Dixon, 15 James Donaldson, 20 James Green, 33 James Greenwood, 12 Graeme Horne, 7 Albert Kelly, 11 Kevin Larroyer, 31 Shaun Lunt, 13 Tyrone McCarthy, 4 Josh Mantellato, 18 Liam Salter, 5 Ken Sio, 32 Dane Tilse, 8 Adam Walker, 19 Kris Welham.
Last 10 Meetings:
Hull KR 34-28 Salford (SLR11 30/6/15)
Hull KR 18-38 Salford (SLR21 20/7/14)
Salford 16-16 Hull KR (SLR12 10/5/14)
Hull KR 28-18 Salford (SLR21 7/7/13)
Salford 38-34 Hull KR (SLR4 24/2/13)
Hull KR 22-24 Salford (SLR20 8/7/12)
Salford 10-18 Hull KR (SLR11 9/4/12)
Hull KR 21-8 Salford (SLR22 17/7/11)
Salford 34-18 Hull KR (SLR6 18/3/11)
Salford 18-44 Hull KR (SLR25 15/8/10)
Salford Red Devils entertain Hull KR on Sunday in a crucial match in the race for a top 8 spot.
With just three games remaining of the first phase of the Super League season, the Red Devils are three points behind Rovers, who currently occupy 9th place on the table.
The Robins are level on points with cross-city rivals Hull FC, who sit one place above them on points difference.
Defeat for Salford would mean that they would have to settle for the middle 8’s and a battle to preserve their Super League status.
Rangi Chase, Cory Paterson and Adrian Morley all return to the squad for the visit of the Robins, while Olsi Krasniqi is also named in the provisional squad having made his debut last week.
Assistant coach Ian Watson again takes charge of the Red Devils in the absence of head coach Iestyn Harris as speculation continues regarding the Welshman’s future with the club.
Watson oversaw Salford end a four game losing run at the AJ Bell Stadium last week with an 18-14 win over Catalans Dragons, and Tim Sheens has now arrived to take up his Director of Rugby role for Sunday’s must-win game.
38 year-old Watson told Manchester Evening News that he believes Salford can still make the top 8: “I know people have talked about the middle eights and said it looks like we’re going into that section now,” he said.
“It’s tough but it’s not impossible, and you’re in with a fighting chance – then you fight for that and you believe in what you’re trying to achieve.”
Meanwhile, Rovers head coach Chris Chester has made a triple change from the side that lost last week to the Huddersfield Giants.
Greg Burke, Aaron Ollett and Tony Puleta all make way for Jordan Cox, James Greenwood and James Donaldson.
Adam Walker is also available for the trip to Lancashire despite an ongoing West Yorkshire Police investigation.
Last Sunday’s loss at the John Smith’s Stadium was Rovers’ first in four games – all of which had come in a 21 day period.
Hull KR beat Salford 34-28 at Craven Park in that run hectic schedule but were replaced in the top 8 last week by bitter rivals Hull FC. However, Chester believes his side can avoid the Middle 8’s: “We get a win tomorrow and we move back up,” he told the Hull Daily Mail.
“We then get to play Hull FC, and that could be the decider.
“I think four points will get us seventh or eighth spot. There’s three or four teams still in the mix for that seventh or eighth spot.”
Rovers have a good record at Salford, winning four of the last seven matches against them in Lancashire, although their last win against them on the road was back in 2012.
Five of Salford’s seven Super League wins this season have come at the AJ Bell, while Rovers have managed just two wins from their last 13 games away from Craven Park.
Prediction: Salford by 4 – This game could go either way, but for Salford defeat is not an option if they’re to force their way into the top 8. Michael Dobson was excellent against Catalans last week and with Rangi Chase back they should be able to edge out the Robins, who are woeful on the road, and who might have one eye on next week’s huge Hull derby.