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Super League: Hull FC host Wildcats after academy merger with KR

Hull FC take Super League basement club Wakefield Trinity Wildcats back to the KC Stadium after slumping to a shock 26-16 midweek defeat at Belle Vue. Coral make the hosts firm strong odds-on 1/10 favourites to show that was just a blip.

Crossing three times early on to take a commanding 16-0 lead, the Airlie Birds subsequently lost their discipline and collapsed, yet have always struggled when making the trip to Wakefield. Head coach Lee Radford recognises this in the same week that bitter local rivals Hull KR merged academies with them.

“We had highlighted the importance of this fixture and what a difficult this place is to come to,” he said. “Our record at this ground is terrible.

“It’s always a dogfight here and I expected to scrape it if we were going to get a result. But after that 15-minute period we didn’t give ourselves a chance to get any momentum back.

Of the academy merger, Radford added: “We often shout about Hull as a hotbed of rugby league talent, a founding home for the sport, but the harsh reality is that the talent pool is smaller than it once was.”

Versatile Australian player Jordan Rankin was one of those Airlie Birds to cross at the Wildcats, so is well worth considering again at 13/8 in the anytime market. There’s a bigger 14/1 price for him to breach the in-goal area first.

Cheap penalties conceded to Wakefield’s Jacob Miller, plus a try from the Aussie, contributed to Hull’s downfall in the reverse fixture, and they must be wary of the half back, who holds anytime odds of 9/4.

The Airlie Birds are still adjusting to the loss of leading try-scorer Tom Linehan, who switched to Warrington Wolves in June. Without him, it’s Tonga international Fetuli Talanoa that has crossed the next most often with nine.

Nifty odds of 9/1 say Talanoa will get the final try, and take his Super League tally into double figures.

A porous Wildcats defence, which lost 16 successive matches until last time out, has conceded a whopping 766 points, more than twice the amount they’ve scored.

Hull are thus a fab 5/1 to have a margin of victory in the 16-20 points bracket, and that looks well worth taking on Humberside come Sunday.

Coral’s top tip: Give the Airlie Birds a 20-point deficit in the handicap markets, and you can enhance their outright match betting price from 1/10 to 10/11!