English Premiership Rugby: Round 7 Preview

English Premiership Rugby: Round 7 Preview

The Gallagher Premiership returns this weekend with a full set of fixtures taking place between Friday the 16th and Sunday the 18th of November. 

While the focus will remain squarely upon the international scene this weekend, it may prove rather prudent for punters to take a look at the Gallagher Premiership as there is plenty of value floating around this competition while the big guns are missing a host of international stars due to national commitments.

Gloucester v Leicester Tigers
Friday 16 November
Kingsholm Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Gloucester 2/11
Draw 24/1
Leicester 39/10

We get things underway with a clash between fourth-placed Gloucester and fifth-placed Leicester. Only one point separates the two sides on the log. And while you may expect the two teams to dig in and look to scrape a win this is unlikely as they both like to have a go with ball-in-hand.

In terms of recent results, Gloucester head into this one off the back of Premiership Cup win as they beat the Northampton Saints 14-12 while Leicester went down 16-18 to the Sale Sharks.

Verdict: Gloucester 2/11
The hosts haven't lost too many international stars to national duty this November which will hold them in good stead against a Tigers outfit missing a plethora of their key players. My money is on the hosts taking it by five points or more. 


Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons
Friday 16 November
Twickenham Stoop

To Win (80 Mins)
Harlequins 4/10
Draw 19/1
Newcastle 43/20

Newcastle will be looking to move off the foot of the log when they travel to London to take on sixth-placed Harlequins. The visitors have struggled domestically this term but a few solid results in Europe will have upped their confidence levels tenfold. They also head into this one off the back of a solid 15-point victory over Bath in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Harlequins have actually only won one more English Premiership game than their opponents for this weekend but they have managed to pick up six bonus points. They struggled in the Premiership Cup last week, however, going down 29-13 to the Exeter Chiefs.

Verdict: Newcastle 43/20
I fell the Falcons may well spring a surprise here. Like Gloucester, they haven't lost too many players to international call-ups. 

Bath v Worcester Warriors
Saturday 17 November
Recreation Ground


To Win (80 Mins)
Bath 1/3
Draw 22/1
Worcester 13/5

Saturday's first fixture will see an in-form Worcester outfit take on a hit-and-miss Bath side. The hosts currently lie eighth on the table while their opponents have moved up into sixth place following some eye-catching wins prior to the league going on a break.

Both teams have been plying their trade in the Premiership Cup over the past three weeks with Bath losing all three of their fixtures and Worcester winning their opening two before going down 34-22 away to a strong Saracens side last weekend.

Verdict: Worcester 13/5
The Warriors certainly are a team on the rise and I would not bet against them this weekend. My play here is a small strike on the away team.


Saracens v Sale Sharks
Saturday 17 November
Allianz Park


To Win (80 Mins)

Saracens 1/4
Draw 22/1
Sale 3/1

Saracens will be looking to leapfrog log-leaders Exeter into first place when they take on 11th-placed Sale this Sunday. The visitors have struggled in the Gallagher Premiership this term but have managed to pick up some solid results in Europe and in the English Cup. Saracens, on the other hand, have been all-conquering in the Premiership and are yet to lose a game this term.

In terms of team news, Saracens will be without a host of their international stars with the likes of Mario Itoje and Owen Farrell on international duty and the Vunipola brothers missing through injury. Sale haven't been as hard hit by international call-ups but they will be without the services of South African scrum-half Faf de Klerk who is set to line up against Scotland this Saturday. De Klerk was latter omitted from the Springbok squad as Sale requested that the livewire dynamo return to the club for duty.

Verdict: Saracens 1/4
Despite missing a plethora of their stars, 'Sarries should still have way too much firepower for Sale to handle.


Northampton Saints v Wasps
Saturday 17 November

Franklin's Gardens

To Win (80 Mins)
Northampton 8/11
Draw 20/1
Wasps 6/5

Saturday's action will come to a close with a clash between third-placed Wasps and ninth-placed Northampton. The hosts have blown hot and cold this term only registering two wins from their opening six games, while Wasps have won four of their six.

Wasps will be without one of their key South Africans with fullback Willie le Roux absent due to national duty. Northampton will also be without a few of their internationals with forwards Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes away with the English national team.

Verdict: Wasps 6/5
This should be a rather entertaining affair with both sides possessing some quality backs. I won't be having a massive strike here but a small bet on Wasps could reap a tidy dividend.


Bristol v Exeter Chiefs 
Sunday 18 November
Ashton Gate


To Win (80 Mins)

* Betting to added upon release

The final match of Round 7 will see the log-leading Exeter Chiefs take on new boys on the block, Bristol. The visitors have given a solid account of themselves on their return to the Premiership and have been a real force to be reckoned with on home soil.

Neither side has been that heavily hit by international call-ups with Exeter surprisingly still able to field their monstrous back row of Don Armand, Dave Ewers and Sam Simmonds, with none of the trio being called-up to the  English squad despite the national team facing a back row injury crisis.

Verdict: Exeter
This should be a great game. And while I expect a strong performance from Bristol, I can't see them beating a near full-strength Exeter outfit. 

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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