With just five wins in 24 outings, it has been a tough Betfred Super League season for Castleford Tigers, who welcome Hull FC to The Jungle on Friday night.
Hull FC can mathematically reach the playoffs but, needing three wins from their last three games, the chances of making the postseason look unlikely.
With the Airlie Birds’ season set to go out with a whimper, the onus is on Castleford to get the win and boost their hopes of retaining Super League status for next year.
Castleford head coach Danny Ward has made four changes to his 21-man squad from the side who suffered defeat last time out at the Halliwell Jones Stadium at the hands of Warrington Wolves.
George Lawler and Sam Hall suffered head knocks against Warrington and are following concussion protocols, while Charbel Tasipale picked up a hamstring injury against the Wire. Jacob Miller also misses out due to a one-match suspension.
The players to fill the void in the Tigers’ squad are Jack Broadbent, Nathan Massey, Liam Watts and Cain Robb, who has returned to Castleford from his loan spell with Championship outfit Swinton Lions.
As for Hull FC, head coach Tony Smith has made three changes to his squad from the side who were defeated by Leeds Rhinos last time out.
Jake Clifford is out through suspension, while Jamie Shaul and Cobie Wainhouse have both dropped out of the squad.
Carlos Tuimavave returns from his two-match suspension, while Darnell McIntosh (hand) and Davy Litten (back) both return from their respective injuries.
Jake Trueman (Achilles), Ligi Sao (knee), Ben McNamara (hand), and Mitieli Vulikijapani (knee) remain long-term absentees for the Airlie Birds.
Castleford Tigers to win @ 6/5
In what is set to be their last home game of the Betfred Super League season, Castleford need to make this one count on Friday night.
Cas have just two points between themselves and bottom-placed rivals Wakefield Trinity going into this week’s fixtures.
With a playoff place highly unlikely, Hull FC seemingly have little to play for and the Tigers’ quest to avoid the drop should give them much more motivation.
Wins have been few and far between for Castleford this season but the chance to dent rivals Wakefield’s survival hopes will be an added incentive for the Tigers.
Adam Swift anytime tryscorer @ 4/5
With an impressive 17 tries to his name already in the Betfred Super League this season, Adam Swift is one to look out for in the anytime tryscorer market.
The former St Helens winger has been one of the standout performers for Hull FC this season and the 30-year-old looks more than capable of adding to his try tally under the lights at The Jungle.