John Dixon targets the Reds
Celtic Crusaders' coach, John Dixon, is keen to secure his first Super League win against Salford tonight at The Willows.
"We're going up there looking to win on Saturday," said Dixon and he might just get what he's looking for. The Crusaders have every chance of winning this match between the two newcomers to Super League XIV.
While Salford have plenty of players with Super League experience in their ranks, including the former St Helens centre Willie Talau and captain Rob Parker who has joined from Warrington, they have yet to play together.
The Crusaders have only played one Super League game, which they lost 28-6 against Leeds last week, but that's one more game than the Reds have played - that experience will show and is the reason the Welsh team should be favourites for this match but are available at 11/8 to win the game in 80 minutes.
Their debut in the Super League didn't get off to the best start, conceding four tries in 24 minutes against a rampant Leed Rhinos team, but as they settled into the game they began to show themselves as an organised and strong outfit. Some might say that the Super League champions eased off but that doesn't reflect what was a creditable performance in both defence and attack from the Crusaders.
Salford's team is made up of a lot of new players that will take time to click. With 80 minutes of Super League rugby behind them, the Crusaders should start strongly and could put the game out of Salford's reach before the Reds have warmed up.
Looking through the range of 30 markets available on this match, the value bet would be 7/4 about the Crusaders to win with a two-point handicap. A strong start could see them scoring the first try of the match, available at Even money, and the 6/5 for the first 40 minutes to be highest scoring half is tempting.