SAINTS make the short trip to Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium today looking to keep their spot at the top of Super League as we move into the second half of the 2024 campaign.

It is quite a quite a tough challenge with fifth-placed Salford buoyant from the 25-14 win at beaten Wembley finalists Warrington Wolves last weekend.

Salford, coached by Paul Rowley and assisted by Kurt Haggerty, won in St Helens for the first time in 44 years in March.

And games between the sides have been quite intense in recent years, including play-off matches and finals, building quite a local rivalry.

Saints boss Paul Wellens said: “Salford are a very tough team as we found out at home earlier on in the season.

“They are playing well and I watched the game against Warrington last week and they are a very dangerous side.

“Marc Sneyd is very effective in the way he manages the game and they have two big boys on each edge in Nene Macdonald and Tim Lafai.

“They have a number of strike players as well with Kallum Watkins – a player who I have a huge amount of respect for and who has been doing the business for a long, long time.

“He’s had a new lease of life.

“Salford are a dangerous team and we are going to have to prepare really well for them if we are to get the right result.”

Last time they played, Saints held a comfortable 14-point lead despite having Mark Percival sent off after 44 minutes.

But three late tries, the last of which was scored by St Helens-born three quarter Deon Cross, saw them lose 24-20.

“It is going to be a tough game but I do feel that despite missing a big number of influential players that we are attacking better as a unit than we were back at the start of the campaign.

“These games against local teams in and around us from a locality point of view are exciting games to be a part of.

“And this game on Sunday is no different.”

Kick off at the AJ Bell is 3pm.