Hull - Marc Sneyd

Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC Betting Preview | 29th September 2017

RUGBY LEAGUE betting expert Andy Day (@AndyDay81) analyses Friday night’s Super League semi-final eliminator from Headingley.

Leeds Rhinos v Hull FC | Friday 20:00 | Sky Sports

Challenge Cup winners Hull travel to Headingley knowing they are yet to defeat the Leeds Rhinos in Super League this season.

Leeds won 52-24 at KCOM Stadium and 10-7 on their own turf in the regular Super League campaign and were 38-26 victors when the Black & Whites visited Headingley at the end of August in the Super 8s.

However, Hull produced arguably their best performance of the season in a 43-24 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final triumph two months ago on Friday and with five wins in their last eight games, they will be hoping for a repeat.

Hull also have two members of this year’s Super League Dream Team – winger Mahe Fonua and stand-off Albert Kelly – the latter also being a Man of Steel nominee. Between them they have scored 30 tries and have quite rightly been recognised as two of the best players in the competition.

Like St Helens, Leeds are regulars at this stage of the competition. Nine times they have been to Old Trafford and with star half back Danny McGuire leaving at the end of the season, they will be looking to give the Englishman – who has spent his entire 13-year career at the Rhinos – the perfect send off.

The Rhinos also love to play Hull at Headingley. The Challenge Cup semi-final victory was Hull’s only win in their last 10 meetings with Rhinos. In fact, they have not won at Headingley since September 2007 – a run of 12 successive defeats away to Leeds – however there will be one telling difference from those defeats on Friday night.

The famous South Stand has now been demolished, reducing Headingley’s capacity to 12,500 and whilst this will have no direct influence on the pitch, the reduced hostile atmosphere can only help Hull.

The verdict

Since 2012, seven of the 10 semi-finals has seen a winning margin of 10 points or less and that is where my vote is going again.

Despite a strong expected challenge from the Rhinos, I cannot look past the visitors who’ve already claimed a piece of silverware this season.

Challenge Cup winners Hull can prevail and look a nice bet at 9/4 to triumph by 1-12 points.

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