Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Gallagher Premiership: Round 20 Preview

Gallagher Premiership: Round 20 Preview


Darry Worthington previews all the Round 20 Gallagher Premiership action which will get underway on Sunday the 13th of September.

Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone
Once again, we've had a week stacked with Premiership action with Sunday and next Monday's fixtures following on from the midweek serving we enjoyed.

In all honesty, while there was some great rugby on display this past Tuesday and Wednesday, most of the games were a bit too one-sided for my liking. Hopefully, Round 20 has a couple tighter fixtures on offer for us.

Wasps v Bristol Bears
Sunday 13 September
Ricoh Arena
13:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Wasps
Draw
Bristol

Handicap 
Wasps
Bristol

The pick of the weekend's action is first up with red-hot sides Wasps and Bristol squaring off at the Ricoh Arena.

Both teams delivered the goods in Round 19 with Wasps smashing Leicester 54-7 and Bristol beating Northampton 47-10. Both teams rally run amuck in the second half of their previous fixtures so we could well get another high-scoring game here.

Verdict: Wasps
I reckon this will be one of the most exciting games of rugby we'll see this year. My money is on Wasps edging a high-scoring thriller. 

Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints
Sunday 13 September
Welford Road Stadium
15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Leicester
Draw
Northampton

Handicap
Leicester
Northampton

The Leicester Tigers will be looking to arrest a horrid run of form when they take on a Northampton Saints outfit that is also struggling.

Both teams have only managed to register a solitary win from their last five games and come into the back of this one off of defeats with the hosts going down 54-7 to Wasps on Wednesday and Northampton suffering a 47-10 defeat at the hands of Bristol.

Verdict: Leicester
Northampton are out of the running for a semi-final now and will likely switch their attention to next weekend's European fixture. I reckon they'll field a rather weak side which gives the Tigers a great chance of winning this one.

Sale Sharks v Bath
Sunday 13 September
AJ Bell Stadium
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Sale
Draw
Bath

Handicap
Sale
Bath

The Sale Sharks will look to strengthen their grip on second place of the Premiership standings when they take on a bath side that is in with a sniff of claiming a semi-final themselves.

Both teams enjoyed fruitful Roun 19s with Bath beating Worcester 40-15 and Sale beating Saracens 24-17. Both teams have only suffered one defeat in their last five games with Bath's being a 23-27 loss to Wasps and Sale's being a 22-32 loss to the Exter Chiefs. 

Verdict: Sale 
While Bath are a solid side I just cannot see them causing a very strong Sale outfit any real problems at the AJ Bell.

London Irish v Worcester Warriors
Sunday 13 September
Twickenham Stoop
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)
London Irish
Draw
Worcester

Handicap
London Irish
Worcester

Two of the tournament's minnows will square off next with 10th-placed Worcester taking on ninth-place London Irish.

Irish have already confirmed that they use the rest of the season to blood new players as they have no relegation concerns due to Saracens having already been confirmed as the team to go down. This move backfired for them in spectacular fashion this past Wednesday as they were hammered 15-38 by Harlequins.

The Warriors also struggled in Round 19 as they went down 40-15 to Bath. That was their second heavy defeat on the trot having been beaten 13-36 by Bristol a few days before the Bath game.

Verdict: Worcester
They may be struggling at the moment but Worcester are a far better side than what will be a very experimental Irish outfit.

Jockeys Ride HorsesSaracens v Exeter Chiefs
Sunday 13 September
Allianz Park
17:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Saracens
Draw
Exeter

Handicap
Saracens
Exeter

The penultimate game of the week would have probably been everyone's pick for the final, and it may well have been had Saracens not been docked a large number of points for financial irregularities.

While there's not as much to play for when compared to these sides usually meet, Saracens will still be keen on getting one over what has become one of their fiercest rivals. Exeter will also be keen to take the points as a win would ensure them of first place on the standings with two rounds to spare.

The two sides suffered conflicting fortunes in Round 19 with Saracens going down to Sale by seven points and Exeter beating Gloucester 35-22.

Verdict: Saracens (+)
I'm expecting a massive fight from Saracens which is why I'll be backing them on the plus handicap.

Gloucester v Harlequins
Monday 14 September
Kingspan
20:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Gloucester
Draw
Harlequins

Handicap
Gloucester
Harlequins

The round will come to a close out at the Kingspan where semi-final hunting Gloucester take on Harlequins. The hosts will be desperate for a win after their play-off hopes were dealt a blow when they went down 35-22 to Exeter midweek. 

Conversely, Harlequins had a good time of it during the midweek fixtures as they managed to get their first win since their surprise victory over Sale when the season restarted. Their 15-38 victory over London Irish will have come as a massive relief but they will need to up their game tenfold if they are to get one over what will be a determined Gloucester side.

Verdict: Gloucester
While they'll be missing a few players due to rest protocols, I can still see Gloucester running up a massive score here.

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