Salford skipper Adrian Morley says his side will be gunning for Widnes at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow (2.45pm, live Sky Sports 3).
The match-up between the Red Devils and the Vikings is second on the agenda at the Magic Weekend when a whole round of Super League games will be staged at Manchester City’s ground over he course of Saturday and Sunday.
The two sides met at last year’s event with Salford running out 28-22 winners. That was before owner Marwan Koukash’s ‘Devilution’ took hold which saw the Red Devils sign a host of new players.
So far, it hasn’t quite gone according to plan with Salford currently lying in eleventh place in the First Utility Super League.
They have already played the Vikings twice this season and lost on both occasions; a 32-18 league defeat at the Select Security Stadium followed by a 30-20 reverse in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup at Salford.
Captain Morley believes his team can do better this time around.
He said: “We believe that we are improving.
“We got the draw against Hull KR last weekend; it’s better than a loss but we were disappointed that we didn’t get the win.
“We believe that we have what it takes and we will go there on Saturday to claim the two points.”
Morley is a fan of the Magic Weekend concept and enjoyed success at last year’s event when his then side, Warrington, got the better of St Helens.
He added: “The highlight of all the Magic Weekends I have played in has to be last year when Warrington beat St Helens.
“I scored a try in the last minute of the game and everyone made a fuss, the lads all jumped on me and the crowd were going crazy, it was a nice moment for me.
“It’s a fantastic for the younger players to get the chance to play in a world class venue such as the Etihad Stadium.
“Not many clubs get the chance to play in these big arenas either so it is a fantastic opportunity for the sport.
“It’s a good chance for players to showcase their talents and also show what this sport has to offer.”
The absence of Australian Tim Smith and Frenchman Theo Fages means Salford coach Iestyn Harris will be forced to field a new half-back partnership against the Vikings.
Tommy Lee is likely to get the nod to play alongside Rangi Chase.
Widnes have forwards Phil Joseph and Dany Galea back in contention after injury alongside fullback Rhys Hanbury.
The Vikings have yet to register a win at Magic Weekend in two attempts and coach Denis Betts is anticipating a tough encounter tomorrow.
He said “We know this weekend is going to be a very physical battle again. The two Salford games we’ve had so far this year have both been very physical.
“They’ve got weapons all over in Meli, Hock and Chase and we know they’re dangerous wherever they are on the field.
“They got a point on the weekend at home so Iestyn Harris may take some positives out of that.
“We’ve already beaten them twice but that doesn’t mean anything.
“It’s a big, wide pitch and they’re desperate to win games.”
Tickets for Sunday May 18 costs from £25 for adults and £12.50 for concessions: Weekend tickets cost from £40 (£20 concessions) and can be purchased by calling the 24-hour Rugby League Ticket Hotline on 0844 856 1113 or by visiting www.rugbyleaguetickets.co.uk.
WIDNES (from): Allen, Brown, Clarke, Clough, Dean, Flynn, Gerrard, Hanbury, Isa, Johnson, Joseph, Kavanagh, Lawton, Leuluai, Marsh, Owens, Phelps, Tickle, White.
SALFORD (from): Ashurst, Chase, Eden, Gleeson, Griffin, Hansen, Hock, Howarth, Lee, Meli, Morley, Mullaney, Platt, Puletua, Rapira, Sa’u, Tasi, Tomkins, Williams.
Tickets in the East Stand upper tier at Magic Weekend on Saturday May 17 cost £20 for adults and £10 for concessions.