Two sides who need an upturn in fortunes to make the Betfred Super League playoffs clash on Saturday, as Hull FC welcome Leeds Rhinos to the MKM Stadium.
Both teams are on 20 points after winning 10 of their opening 23 matches, and unless either side gets some fortune, they will both miss out on the postseason.
Tony Smith’s side have lost two in a row to fall away from the playoff picture, while Leeds’ 21-12 defeat to Huddersfield Giants practically ended their chances of a top-six finish.
Hull FC coach Smith has made three alterations to his squad that lost 18-4 to Warrington last week.
Tex Hoy, Danny Houghton and academy product Cobie Wainhouse all come into the fold, replacing Jake Trueman, who is out for the season, Darnell McIntosh and Davy Litten.
Leeds Rhinos coach Rohan Smith will be boosted by returning duo David Fusitu’a and James McDonnell, but half-back Aidan Sezer is ruled out through concussion. That means Jack Sinfield, son of club legend Kevin, could feature in the halves.
Hull FC -2 handicap @ 20/21
Former Rhinos boss Smith has already conceded that his side’s chances of making the playoffs are “tough,” and they still have to face Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils before the season comes to a close.
Trueman’s absence will be felt across the park, but they are facing a Leeds team that look at sixes and sevens. Smith’s side have lost four of their last five, and motivation could be an issue, with several players’ futures already confirmed to be away from Headingley.
Leeds may have won on their last two visits to the MKM Stadium, but they appear to need a rebuild. Hull FC’s home form has also been their strongest asset, as they have only lost two of their previous eight in front of their own supporters.
Ash Handley to score anytime @ 10/11
Although Leeds have lost their way of late, some of their squad have maintained their high standards. As an academy product, winger Handley continues to give his all for the Rhinos, and he has scored 11 tries for the club this season.
Handley has a superb record against Hull FC, scoring six tries in the last three meetings between the two sides.
He offers slightly better value than Adam Swift, who is 4/5 to score anytime, but the Hull FC playmaker is in fine form, scoring in seven consecutive matches for the club.