SL preview: Bradford v Hull FC (Fri)

Bradford Bulls will be out to halt their six-game losing run in Super League when Hull FC visit Odsal on Friday night.

However, while the Bulls had a week off last weekend, Hull were booking their place in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-finals courtesy of a 24-13 success in France over the Catalan Dragons. The Airlie Birds also ran-out 70-6 winners on their last trip to Bradford.

The home side are boosted by the availability of Brett Kearney, Jarrod Sammut, Jamie Langley, Tom Olbison and Chev Walker, who all return to their squad, but they will be without Adam Sidlow and Matty Blythe after both picked up knee injuries in the game against Wigan.

Head coach Francis Cummins is keen for his troops to end their campaign on a winning note.

He said, “On the back of recent weeks we have improved and we need to get a result to keep us in the fight. We believe we can do that and we did improve at Wigan only to let it slip at in the last twenty minutes.

“It’s also a big challenge for us coming on the back of Hull’s great win in France last week. It’s a pivotal one for us because Hull are a good side and if we get a win over them than the confidence can come flooding back and that would set us up for the rest of the season.”

Hull have made one change to the squad which emerged from their trip to Perpignan with a vital win.

Friday’s clash will be the Black and White’s fourth game in 19 days and they will have to soldier on without Ben Galea due to an arm injury. His place in the 19-man squad has been taken by Paul Johnson.

Half-back Daniel Holdsworth is nearing full fitness, however, the ex-Salford playmaker will not be risked in Friday’s clash.

Head coach Peter Gentle is desperate for Hull to finish as high up the Super League ladder as possible and is not contemplating resting any of his stars ahead of the cup semi-final.

“With the position we are in the table, we don’t have the luxury of holding anyone back,” Gentle told the Hull Daily Mail.

“Maybe if we’d picked up a few wins recently we could have done that. We really need to win on Friday night so we’ll be putting our biggest and best out there.”

Bradford 19-man squad: Donaldson, Langley, Walker, Kearney, Gale, Kear, Scruton, Bateman, L’Estrange, Platt, Lulia, Purtell, Olbison, Manuokafoa, Addy, Foster, Diskin, Sammut, Evans.

Hull FC 19-man squad: Arundel, T. Briscoe, Crooks, Ellis, Green, Heremaia, Houghton, Johnson, Lineham, Lynch, McDonnell, O’Meley, Miller, Pitts, Tickle, Watts, Westerman, Whiting, Yeaman.

Prediction: Hull will be full of confidence while Bradford have not got any. Away win.

Stats:

Hull FC have won their last seven meetings (four away from home) with Bradford, with the Bulls’ last win against the Black and Whites coming 21-18 at the KC Stadium on 11 September, 2009.

Super League summary:

Bradford won 25 (includes win in 2005 play-offs)

Hull FC won 14 (includes win in 2006 play-offs)

2 draws

Bradford highest score: 71-0 (H, 2005 ESF) (also widest margin)

Hull FC highest score: 70-6 (A, 2012) (also widest margin)

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