Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Gallagher Premiership: Round 5 Preview

Gallagher Premiership: Round 5 Preview

Jack Walker of Bath Rugby prepares to pass rugby ball

The Gallagher Premiership returns from its two-week sabbatical, and Darry Worthington is here to cover all the Round 5 action. 

The Gallagher Premiership returns this weekend and with it some major storylines including the Bristol Bears run at the top of the standings, Saracens trying to reel in their negative point differential and Johan Ackermann's attempt to turn his Gloucester side into a real title contender.

Image Copyright Steve Haag/PPAUK

Bath v Saracens
Friday 29 November
The Recreation Ground
21:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Bath 3/1
Draw 20/1
Saracens 1/4

Saracens will be looking to make further inroads into their negative points differential when they take on a decent bath side out at the Rec on Friday evening.

The visitors had a topsy-turvy fortnight in Europe going down 30-10 to Racing Metro before bouncing back in the second round by beating the Ospreys 44-3.

Bath had a far tougher time of it during their two Heineken Cup outings as they lost 16-17 to Ulster and then 15-9 to Harlequins.

Verdict: Saracens 1/4
They have the majority of their big guns back on the paddock which will help them greatly. My money is on the visitors taking this one by more than seven points.

Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers
Saturday 30 November
Franklin's Gardens
17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Northampton 1/4
Draw 20/1
Leicester 3/1

The Saints will be looking for their fourth Gallagher Premiership win of the season when they take on a Leicester side that has only won one of their opening four domestic fixtures.

Both teams enjoyed a fantastic time of it in Europe with Northampton beating Treviso (32-35) and Lyon (25-14) in their first two Heineken Cup fixtures, while Leicester beat Pau (41-20) and the Cardiff Blues (11-14) in their first two Challenge Cup games.

Alofa Alofa of Harlequins tackles Rory Hutchinson of Northampton
Alofa Alofa of Harlequins tackles Rory Hutchinson of Northampton - Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports.

Verdict: Northampton 1/4
The Saints have been a force to be reckoned with at home and I can see them getting another win here. Smart money is on them taking this one by any handicap lower than eight.

Exeter Chiefs v Wasps
Saturday 30 November
Sandy Park
17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Exeter 2/13
Draw 25/1
Wasps 9/2

The Exeter Chiefs will be looking to edge closer to the summit of the Gallagher Premiership standings when they take on a Wasps side who find themselves way down the pecking order.

Both teams have endured mediocre starts to the domestic season with Exeter registering only two wins from their opening four games and Wasps only claiming a solitary victory.

Exeter do head into this one off the back of a solid start to the Heineken Champions Cup with the men from Devonshire comfortably beating La Rochelle and the Glasgow Warriors. Wasps start to the Challenge Cup was far less impressive as they went down 30-40 to Bordeaux before beating French minnows Agen 32-14.

Verdict: Exeter 2/13
I'm very strong on the hosts here. I can see them taking this one by more than 15 points.

Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks
Saturday 30 November
Sixways Stadium
17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Worcester 9/10
Draw 18/1
Sale 19/20

We head over to Sixways Stadium for Saturday's final 5PM kick-off which will see seventh-placed Worcester take on third-placed Sale. Both teams have enjoyed decent starts by their standards as they have won half of their opening four fixtures.

In terms of their recent European exploits, both outfits have registered a win and a loss with the hosts hammering minnows Ensei-STM before going down by eight points to Castres, while Sale lost to Glasgow and then beat La Rochelle.

Verdict: Sale 19/20
I fancy the upset here. Sale have a host of stars back and they could well make light work of a decent yet limited Warriors outfit.

Bristol Bears v London Irish
Sunday 1 November
Ashton Gate
17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Bristol Bears 2/13
Draw 25/1
London Irish 9/2

The Bristol Bears will be looking to maintain top spot on the Premiership standings when they take on a London Irish side that currently lie in sixth place. The Bears have only suffered one domestic defeat thus far while London Irish have won two of their opening four fixtures.

Both teams were involved in European Challenge Cup acton over the past fortnight with Bristol dolling out hidings to Zebre and Brive, while Irish lost to the Scarlets and then beat Bayonne comfortably.

Gabriel Ibitoye of Harlequins tackles Lewis Thiede of Bristol
Image Copyright Steve Haag Sport

Verdict: Bristol 2/13
The Bears will be far too strong on home soil. I can see them winning this one by more than 14 points.

Harlequins v Gloucester
Sunday 1 December
Twickenham Stoop
17:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Harlequins 15/20
Draw 18/1
Gloucester 23/20

The round will come to a close out in London where the Harlequins will play host to Gloucester. Neither team really shone in Europe, with Gloucester losing to French sides Toulouse and Montpellier while 'Quins lost heavily to Clermont before bouncing back and beating Bath.

Verdict: Gloucester 23/20
I really do think Johann Ackermann is targeting the Gallagher Premiership which is why his side struggled in Europe. I can see them bouncing back with an away win between five and ten points.

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