Aviva Premiership: Wasps v Gloucester Preview

Aviva-Premiership-Wasps-versus-Gloucester-Preview

The London Wasps and Gloucester Rugby will go head-to-head on Saturday the 23rd of December in what should be an epic Aviva Premiership clash. 

In a week full of controversy for Gloucester Rugby, the 'Cherry and Whites' will need to band together and remain grounded if they are to record what would be a seventh-consecutive win for the club in all competitions. They may be up against it at the Ricoh Arena, however, as Dai Young’s Wasps are always a difficult prospect at home; even more so following their comprehensive Champions Cup triumph over La Rochelle on the weekend.


London Wasps v Gloucester Rugby | Saturday 23 December | Ricoh Arena | 17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Wasps 1/4 | Draw 20/1 | Gloucester 31/10

Wasps

Wasps fans were due a big European performance after a string of disappointing Champions Cup games, and boy did they get it! The London club’s 21-3 win over La Rochelle on the weekend may not have been a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but the way in which they ground out a win in some tough conditions speaks volumes for the character in this side. With their European campaign still alive, and with just a few points separating sixth from second on the Aviva Premiership standings, the fifth-placed Wasps have every reason to believe they can yet make a success of what has, up until this point, been a vastly underwhelming season.

A win would keep up the pressure at the top of the Premiership standings, and possibly give Wasps the chance to finish the weekend as high as third, or even second depending on other results going their way. Gloucester, currently in second, present Wasps with another huge challenge but, with dry conditions expected, Young’s boys will be expected to get the 'maximum;, and maybe even prevent their controversy-stricken opponents from taking away a bonus-point from the Ricoh.

Gloucester

Waking up to the news that Gloucester coach Johan Ackermann and his son, Ruan, have been implicated in a nightclub brawl is not exactly commonplace, to say the very least. The two have a reputation for being humble, softly-spoken men, and this latest news has come as a shock to all. While it is certainly not my place to comment on the matter, the only thing I will mention is that this embroilment may just have dire consequences for Gloucester, as they attempt to negotiate what has been, up until now, a very promising footy season. Here’s to hoping the situation is resolved swiftly, and that the 'Cherry and Whites' aren’t overly affected by this disappointing news.

Winning six on the bounce will mean nothing to Ackermann’s charges if they can’t keep up their current form until the business end of the tournament, and secure a home playoff place. They will look to put off-field shenanigans behind them and deliver a performance of substance against the Wasps this weekend. They will need their big ball-carriers to continually get them over the advantage line, and keep quiet the likes of Willie le Roux and Christian Wade. That said, they may struggle to get the win against such a determined Wasps outfit.

Verdict: Wasps 1/4
Hopefully, the whole Ackermann-saga won’t have too damaging an effect on Gloucester’s players this Saturday. Even without the latest tabloid gossip, Wasps should still manage to get maximum points out of this one and keep their home playoff hopes alive, whilst ensuring it stays tight at the top.
Written by Shaun Goosen for @Hollywoodbets.net

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