Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Gallagher Premiership Round 8 Preview

Gallagher Premiership Round 8 Preview

Stephan Lewies of Harlequins is tackled by Ben Morgan of Gloucester

Round eight of the Gallagher Premiership is under Shaun Goosen's microscope this week. 

Bristol will need to get back to winning ways when they travel to Welford Road to face an out of sorts Leicester while Exeter will want to build on their superb 14-7 win over Saracens with victory over London Irish at the Madejski.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports.

Friday 3 January

Sale Sharks v Harlequins
AJ Bell Stadium

To Win Match
Sale 1/4
Draw 18/1

Harlequins 31/10

Seventh-placed Sale will look to broaden the gap between themselves and Harlequins in eighth when the two clash at the AJ Bell Stadium on Friday.

The Sharks narrowly lost out in Bath last week by just two points. That defeat leaves them level on 17 points with four other teams in the competition.

The Quins drew 30-all at home with the lowly Leicester Tigers last week and will be searching for a big pick-me-up to compensate for that poor showing. That said, the hosts have been good at home so far this season and should take the W.

Verdict: Sale by eight points.

Saturday 4 January

Leicester v Bristol
Welford Road

To Win Match
Leicester 4/10
Draw 18/1
Bristol 2/1

Leicester can claim what would be a second win of the season with victory over Bristol at Welford Road on Saturday.

The relegation-bound Tigers did well to claim an unexpected 30-all away draw against Harlequins. Every point will log count from here on out with Saracens set to chase them down following their points deduction.

The Bears were left disappointed after their 21-28 home loss to Wasps. They will need to be consistent if they are serious about challenging for the playoffs and you’d expect them to hit back with a victory this weekend.

Verdict: Bristol by seven - massive value here!

Saracens v Worcester
Allianz Park

To Win Match
Saracens 1/20
Draw 30/1
Worcester 15/2

Saracens will search for improvement when they host Worcester at Allianz Park on Saturday.

In what was arguably the biggest game of the season so far, Sarries lost out 14-7 to Exeter at Sandy Park last week. The scoreline definitely flattered Mark McCall’s men, who were comprehensively outmuscled by a bullish Chiefs lineup.

That said, they did well to grab a losing bonus-point; helped in part by some ill-discipline from their opponents. That may well be crucial to their chances of avoiding relegation.

This week, they will expect to get back to winning ways over an inconsistent Warriors outfit.

Verdict: Saracens by seven.

Gloucester v Bath
Kingsholm Stadium

To Win Match
Gloucester 3/10
Draw 20/1
Bath 26/10

Gloucester host Bath for the right to enter into the playoff positions at Kingsholm Stadium on Saturday.

Gloucester are in third despite their narrow away loss to the Saints last week. They will maintain that position with a win, with the likes of Bristol level on points with them and four other sides one point behind.

One of those is Bath, who last week edged Sale 16-14 at the Rec. Victory for them will boost them into a playoff berth, but they may just come unstuck against a team with a solid home record to date.

Verdict: Gloucester by five.

Sunday 5 January

London Irish v Exeter
Madejski Stadium

To Win Match
London Irish 39/10
Draw 24/1
Exeter 2/11

London Irish will be hard-pressed to beat a dominant Chiefs outfit at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

While Irish have been good in their return to the top-flight, Exeter proved in their win over Saracens last week just how good they are.

Their defensive performance and exit play was about as clinical as it gets. They should claim another win here to remain top of the pops.

Verdict: Exeter by 12.

Wasps v Northampton
Ricoh Arena

To Win Match
Wasps 21/20
Draw 17/1
Northampton 8/10

Wasps will look to follow up their great result last week with another win when they host Northampton at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday.

Dai Young’s men earned a brilliant 26-21 result at Bristol which would have given them a huge shot of confidence. They will realize that relegation is a real possibility this season and that they’ll need to collect as many W’s as possible.

The Saints remain second after last week’s 33-26 win over Gloucester. Theirs is a solid squad, but Wasps could spring a surprise at home to kick-start the New Year the right way.

Verdict: Wasps by three.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.

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