SL Preview: Widnes v Bradford

Widnes coach Denis Betts has made four changes to his 19-man squad to face Bradford on Friday at the Stobart Stadium.

Injuries to key members have forced the coach into changes following their 36-16 home win over Hull FC.

The Bulls on the other hand are unchanged following their impressive 43-18 win over table toppers Huddersfield Giants.

Widnes’ marquee signing Kevin Brown is out for four to six weeks with an ankle injury, while Stefan Marsh requires a shoulder reconstruction which will see him sidelined for three months. Both went off in the win against Hull, and centre Cameron Phelps also hasn’t recovered from a knock he picked up in the same game.

Shaun Briscoe is fit again following his recovery from an injury and returns to the squad, alongside Willie Isa, Phil Joseph and Macgraff Leuluai, with Steve Pickersgill missing out.

Bulls coach Francis Cummins will give fitness tests to joint captain Matt Diskin and Manase Manuokafoa who suffered a shoulder knock.

Widnes 19-man squad: Ah Van, Allen, Briscoe, Cahill, Clarke, Cross, Dean, Flynn, Gerrard, Hanbury, Hock, Isa, Joesph, Kavanagh, Leuluai, Mellor, O’Carroll, White, Winterstein

Bradford 19-man squad: Donaldson, Sidlow, O’Brien, Manuokafoa, Langley, Diskin, Kearney, Scruton, L’Estrange, Blythe, Lulia, Whitehead, Kear, Sammut, Addy, Olbison, Walker, Murphy, Foster

Prediction: With Widnes without key figure Kevin Brown I can see them struggling so I’m going for a Bradford win.

Stats:

Bradford are undefeated in their last four games against Widnes, with the Vikings’ last win against the Bulls coming 31-22 at home on 20 February, 2005. The sides also fought out a 25-25 draw at Odsal on 19 June, 2005 – with Bradford winning their next three games against the Vikings after that.

Super League summary:

Widnes won 1
Bradford won 9
1 draw
Widnes highest score: 31-22 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)
Bradford highest score: 74-24 (H, 2005) (also widest margin)

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