Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Gallagher Premiership Round 4 Preview

Gallagher Premiership Round 4 Preview

Faf de Klerk playing for Sale Sharks against Bath in the rain

Shaun Goosen previews the fourth round of the Gallagher Premiership, with the big news of the week seeing reigning champions, Saracens docked 35 points for breaches of the competition's salary cap.


Friday 8 November

Sale 2/9 | Wasps 7/2
21h45
AJ Bell Stadium

Both the Sharks and Wasps have won just once in their opening three fixtures and will look to up those numbers on Friday. It’s pretty safe to say that both sides boast star-studded squads, with the overall quality set to rise once the World Cup internationals return for club duty.

Sale went down disappointingly at home to Gloucester in round one before winning away at London Irish and then slipping up again at Bristol. Director of Rugby Steve Diamond will demand more consistency from his men as the campaign unfolds and you’d expect them to start by claiming a win here.

Verdict: Sale by 10
Wasps are yet to get going this season and won’t get within seven of the hosts.

Saturday 9 November

Gloucester 7/20 | Saracens 23/10
17h00
Kingsholm Stadium

Arguably the clash of the weekend. In the midst of the controversy surrounding Saracens and their salary cap breach, their players will need to be extra attentive on Saturday to undo a powerful Gloucester lineup.

The hosts went down narrowly to Leicester last week but will be determined to bounce back. They should take full advantage of a club who really do find themselves in disarray at the moment.

Verdict: Gloucester by 14
I don’t see Saracens coming within two converted scores of Johan Ackermann’s men.

Bath 7/10 | Northampton 12/10
17h00
The Rec

It may still be early days, but Bath won’t enjoy the fact that they currently sit bottom with one win and a points-difference of -32. Ironically enough, they take on front-runners Northampton who are yet to taste defeat.

While Bath did well to pip Exeter by three-points at the Rec a fortnight ago, they will find the going tough against the Saints. The visitors have already claimed the scalps of Saracens, Worcester and Harlequins and should maintain their unbeaten start in London this weekend.

Verdict: Northampton by 15
The Saints have a handsome points-difference of 39 and should win quite comfortably here.

Harlequins 2/11 | Worcester 4/1
17h00
Twickenham Stoop

Neither side has hit their stride yet this season, with two losses apiece. The Warriors went down at home to Exeter last week in a game they could have won and should bring that hurt with them as they visit the Stoop here.

The Quins had a fantastic backend to last season and will look to improve on their fifth-place finish to potentially challenge for playoff honours in 2019-20. However, Worcester may pip this one.

Verdict: Worcester by five or less
The Warriors may sneak this one by the finest of margins.

Sunday 10 November

London Irish 15/20 |  Leicester 23/20
16h30
Madejski Stadium

The promoted London Irish haven’t fared too badly in the competition to date. Aside from an admittedly big loss to Sale at home, they’ve managed to turn over the Wasps away and were pipped by just three-points to defending champions Saracens last week.

The Tigers, though, will be fighting hard to improve on their dreadful last campaign that saw them finish in 11th. The once-proud club will be eager to stay well away from a relegation fight this season and may want this one more than their opponents.

Verdict: Leicester by seven
Leicester are desperate to regain some lost respect and will realize they can start by knocking over the newbies.

Exeter 1/5 | Bristol 37/10
17h00
Sandy Park

The Chiefs, runners-up once again last season, are hoping the marquee signing of Stuart Hogg can lift them to another Premiership crown this campaign. Coming off the back of a disappointing World Cup, the former Glasgow Warrior is looking to set alight an attack that has been somewhat one-dimensional in recent times.

However, under the tutelage of Pat Lam, the Bears will be looking to improve on their ninth-place finish last time out. Currently occupying second with the second-best point-difference to date following their big opening win over Bath, they will push the Chiefs hard this weekend.

Verdict: Exeter by six
The Chiefs will be too good at home, though Bristol won’t die wondering. 

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