VIKINGS boss Denis Betts expects Saturday’s third meeting in as many months with Salford to be a tough and physical encounter.
Having won the first two, including a fine Challenge Cup triumph, Vikings know they have the beating of their big spending rivals - but it won’t be easy at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.
Betts said: “It’s going to be tough and it’s going to be physical.
“We’ve already beaten them twice this year but that means nothing when you’re on such a wide pitch like this one and against a side that’s desperate to win games.
“We know that there are things to work on and we’ve got a very physical battle this weekend both matches we’ve played against Salford have been very physical indeed.”
Vikings have a poor record in the Magic event although last season’s one score defeat at the hands of the Reds was a huge improvement on the 68-4 massacre at the hands of Warrington the previous year.
Although Wakefield burst Vikings’ bubble on Friday, Betts believes that could assist them long term.
“Maybe what happened at the Wakefield game can give us a bit of a kick up the backside and get us back on track,” he said.
Danny Galea, Phil Joseph, Cameron Phelps and Rhys Hanbury are all back in contention to play.
Kevin Brown will be having a head check after his knock late in the game which saw him collapse with delayed concussion.
Betts said: “Kev has got the relevant tests to do but I’m sure he’ll be okay. We’ll see where he gets to by the middle of the week because he’ll have to train and see if anything recurs and we’ll have a better idea then.”
Vikings’ game kicks off at 2.45pm.