Super League Preview: Leeds v Bradford

Leeds will play their first game in 13 days against West Yorkshire rivals Bradford on Thursday night.

The Rhinos saw last weekend’s fixture at Wakefield twice called off, leaving them with a fixture headache for the remainder of the season.

Many of their players will already need to double up on the weekend of the International Origin game, with the fixture against Widnes, postponed due to the World Club Challenge, scheduled for the following Monday.

But head coach Brian McDermott says they are ready and raring to go for the clash against the Bulls, following the frustration of last week.

It has at least enabled Carl Ablett and Brett Delaney to return to full fitness, meaning McDermott can keep the same side that beat Wigan a fortnight ago.

Bradford are boosted by the return of centres Matty Blythe and Keith Lulia, as well as forward Jamie Langley.

Winger Jamie Foster is expected to be fit, despite picking up an ankle injury in the defeat by Catalan last Saturday.

Leeds 19-man squad: Watkins, Moon, Hall, McGuire, Burrow, Leuluai, McShane, Peacock, Jones-Buchanan, Ablett, Sinfield, Ward, Delaney, Bailey, Kirke, Clarkson, Achurch, Moore, Vickery.

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

Prediction: The frustrated Rhinos will be too strong in this televised derby clash – home win.

Last 10 meetings:

Leeds 34, Bradford 16 (SLR21, 20/7/12)
Bradford 22, Leeds 37 (SLR15, 27/5/12) (at Etihad Stadium, Manchester)
Bradford 12, Leeds 4 (SLR10, 6/4/12)
Leeds 12, Bradford 18 (SLR19, 24/6/11)
Bradford 22, Leeds 30 (SLR11, 21/4/11)
Bradford 28, Leeds 32 (SLR1, 13/2/11) (at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff)
Bradford 12, Leeds 26 (SLR15, 23/5/10)
Leeds 20, Bradford 20 (SLR9, 1/4/10)
Leeds 33, Bradford 20 (SLR17, 26/6/09)
Bradford 10, Leeds 6 (SLR7, 10/4/09)

Super League summary:

Leeds won 24 (includes win in 2004 Grand Final)
Bradford won 28 (includes win in 2005 Grand Final & wins in 2000, 2003 and 2004 play-offs)
2 draws
Leeds highest score: 45-16 (H, 1999) (Widest margin: 44-2, H, 2008)
Bradford highest score: 62-18 (H, 2001) (Widest margin: 54-8, H, 1996)

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