Hull can heap more pressure on City Reds.
LAST season Hull won their first five matches before collapsing to finish 12th. A year on, after another good start, coach Richard Agar is understandably getting a bit fed up of answering questions about why things will be different in 2010.
The trouble is his team are under pressure to prove him right every week with the 'same old story at Hull' headlines ready to be written after the first sign of problems.
The Black and Whites have won five and been beaten twice - a walloping at Wigan and a shock loss at Crusaders - but generally their form has been way above anything produced by tonight's opponents Salford. Wins over Saints and Huddersfield have been the Hull highlights.
There is no relegation from Super League but the City Reds are still under huge pressure. The licences to play in the competition from 2012 onwards will be handed out in the middle of next year and Salford need to deliver on and off the field.
One win from seven games hardly sets the pulse racing, especially the victory came at rock-bottom Harlequins. At home their record is played three, lost three. It's 2-7 to be played four, lost four by tonight.
That's a fair reflection and the handicap ranges from ten to 12 points. Plenty of punters will be piling into the favourites giving up the start but Hull will be missing their most creative player in Richard Horne and their game plan is unlikely to be expansive.
Salford have already shown plenty of doggedness in narrow defeats by Leeds and Bradford so Hull may have to work hard to pick up the points.
They should be good enough and the best bet may be to back the visitors to win by between one and 12 points at 9-4. In tonight's other match, struggling Catalans welcome back Thomas Bosc and Chris Walker for the home game against Hull KR.
Bosc hasn't played all season and has been sorely missed. Ladbrokes offer a carrot by making the French outfit 5-4 but it might be best to sit this one out.
Recommendation Hull to win by 1-12 points 2pts 9-4 Stan James