When you think of rugby league’s greatest clubs, Salford Red Devils aren’t usually the first name that springs to mind.

The club has been deprived of any major success since its last RFL Championship win in 1976 and usually finds itself fighting for survival at the bottom end of the table. However, this year’s Betfred Super League Grand Final could finally heal 43 years of hurt for this historic little outfit.

Under the guidance of Head Coach Ian Watson, Salford have endured a season to remember after securing their highest regular Super League finish of third, pipping the likes of Leeds Rhinos and Hull to a spot in the lucrative end-of-year play-offs.

Ian Watson has led Salford during an unforgettable campaign.

A narrow first-round defeat at Wigan Warriors caused critics to doubt Salford’s ability to compete in knockout rugby; but Watson’s troops responded emphatically with two convincing victories over Castleford Tigers and the Warriors to seal their place in this year’s Grand Final at Old Trafford.

It marks a remarkable turnaround for the Red Devils; just two years ago they were less than two minutes away from suffering relegation to the Championship when two quick-fire tries at the death, combined with a golden-point extra-time drop goal from Gareth O’Brien, enabled Salford to stave the drop.

Just 12 months ago Salford had to sell their key players, including O’Brien, in order to keep the club afloat. Fast-forward to the present day and the mood at the AJ Bell Stadium is unrecognisable from those dark days.

The current side is arguably the greatest in the club’s history; not only does it boast this year’s Man of Steel winner Jackson Hastings, but with the efforts of Joey Lussick, Hastings’ half-back partner Tui Lolohea and top-scorer Niall Evalds, Salford are now a force to be reckoned when going forward.

And it isn’t just in attack where the Red Devils are equipped, their defensive pack is one of the most solid units within the sport. Filled with the likes of Lee Mossop, Gil Dudson and Mark Flanagan, Salford had the second-best points difference in the competition and have conceded a mere four points in the play-offs so far.

Standing in the way of Salford completing one of the great sporting upsets are League Leaders Shield winners and rugby league giants St Helens.

Led by Coach of the Year Justin Holbrook, they lost just three fixtures all season, cruising to the Shield after finishing above second-placed Wigan by a record 16 points.

Salford play their home games at the AJ Bell Stadium.

With a side full of proven internationals, St Helens are undoubtedly the clear favourites to lift the trophy; but they only won by two points when the sides last met back in May. If Salford can replicate their end-of-season form, 2019 could be the year of the devil.

The 2019 Betfred Super League Grand Final takes place at Old Trafford, Manchester on Saturday 12th October.