ERCC: Harlequins v Wasps Preview

The Harlequins and London Wasps will square off in an all-English Champions Cup affair at the Stoop on Saturday the 13th of January.

John Kingston’s lacklustre Harlequins side, losers in each of their four European games so far this campaign, entertain fellow countrymen the London Wasps at The Stoop this weekend. The visitors, who occupy third position in Pool 1, five-points adrift of leaders La Rochelle, have a shot at ending the penultimate round of pool fixtures in the top two depending on the result of the Ulster versus La Rochelle clash, and simply must come away with a bonus-point win on Saturday.

Harlequins Football Club v London Wasps | January 13 January | The Stoop | 19:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Harlequins 49/20 | Draw 20/1 | Wasps 7/20

Harlequins Football Club
The 'Quins really have endured a rotten season thus far. They're sitting in ninth on the Aviva Premiership table without a hope in hell of claiming a playoff stake has compounded their miserable run in the Champions Cup, and one would think that a shake-up of some sort is not too far off for the London-based club.

Wasps won the reverse fixture by a landslide (41-10), and confidence won’t exactly be sky-high for the men in red ahead of the weekend. Defensive disorganisation was a recurring theme in the 'Quin’s recent loss at Sale and affording Wasps even half as much time and space on the ball will result in scores. Shoring up their defence will be paramount.

If a side’s discipline is a measure of its degree of competency, then the Harlequins have sorely failed the test. Joe Marler’s red card for clearing with the shoulder proved the difference in his side’s loss to the Sharks, and Kingston would not have held back in his inference of the incident. The England loosehead has copped a six-week ban, meaning he will miss the opening round of the Six Nations. Indeed, his side may struggle without him this Saturday.

London Wasps
Despite being comprehensively outplayed by Saracens in the Premiership on the weekend, Wasps will know that a bonus-point win this Saturday is not too far out of their grasp. Harlequins’ defence will hardly prove a tough nut to crack for this talented lineup, and Dai Young will expect the tries to flow at The Stoop.

Coming away with five-points, coupled with a heavy loss to one of either Ulster or La Rochelle, will see Wasps enter the penultimate round of fixtures in the top two of their pool. Considering the ambition at the club they will certainly be fired up and raring to go, and the 'Quins may just find that the going gets tough on Saturday.

Verdict: Wasps 7/20
It really would be a surprise to see anything other than a Wasps bonus-point win transpire this weekend. They will hope that their wonderful offensive play is to power them to a spot in the top two.

Written by Shaun Goosen for

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