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Gallagher Premiership 20/21 – Round 17 Preview

A top-of-the-table clash between Bristol and Exeter headlines the Gallagher Prem this weekend.

Gallagher Premiership - Round 17 Preview
Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

The Gallagher Premiership throws up some really spicy fixtures with log-leaders Bristol taking on reigning ‘champs Exeter in the Round 17 opener, while Leicester will be looking to keep their slim hopes of a knock-out spot alive when they take on fifth-placed Northampton on Saturday.

Standings provided by SofaScore LiveScore

Bristol v Exeter

Friday 23 April
Ashton Gate
21:45

To Win (80 Mins)

Bristol 12/10
Draw 22/1
Exeter 72/100

We kick things off with the pick of the round’s action as the log-leaders Bristol tackle second-placed Exeter. 12 points separate the sides on the standings and should Bristol take the win here, they are unlikely to be usurped and will all but guarantee themselves a home semi-final.

The visitors were in solid touch this past weekend as a late blitz saw them cruise past Wasps 43-13. Bristol also enjoyed a comfortable win in Round 16 as they beat Newcastle 17-34 at the Kingston Stadium.

Bristol registered an impressive 7-20 win when the two sides met back in January. It must be noted, though, that the Chiefs were missing a number of their big guns and this game is likely to see a much tighter scoreline.

Verdict: Bristol 12/10

I reckon this one will be won by the hosts by the narrowest of margins.

London Irish v Harlequins

Saturday 24 April
Brentford Community Stadium
13:30

To Win (80 Mins)

Irish 49/20
Draw 22/1
Harlequins 34/100

We’ve got another crucial match up next as sixth-place London Irish play host to fourth-place Harlequins. The sides are separated by nine log points, and a win for the hosts would go a long way to putting them right in the hunt for a semi-final berth, while a win for the visitors would strengthen their grip on fourth place.

In terms of last weekend’s results, Irish were on the wrong end of a 44-26 scoreline as they went down to fifth-placed Northampton, while ‘Quins had a far better time of it hammering the Worcester Warriors 50-26 at the Stoop.

The two sides met back in January but couldn’t be separated in a 27-27 draw.

Verdict: Irish 49/20

Irish have been handy enough at home and I reckon they’ll bag another win out in Brentford.

Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints

Saturday 24 April
Welford Road Stadium
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)

Leicester 15/20
Draw 22/1
Northampton 23/20

Leicester will be looking to claw their way back into semi-final contention when they take on a Saints side that is potentially one win away from breaking into the top four.

The hosts were desperately unlucky to lose last weekend as they went down 21-20 to Bath at the Recreation Ground. This loss ended a great run of form for the Tigers who had won their last three games in all competitions.

Conversely, Northampton had a solid time of it last weekend as they hammered London Irish 44-26. This was their fourth win in their last six games across all competitions.

Verdict: Leicester 15/20

There’s not much between the two sides in terms of quality. I reckon this one will go the way of the hosts by another very fine margin.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons

Saturday 24 April
Kingsholm Stadium
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)

Gloucester 27/100
Draw 22/1
Newcastle 3/1

Two of the division’s real strugglers, Gloucester and the Newcastle Flacons, will square off in our next fixture. Both teams are out of the running for semi-final berths and don’t look like claiming a spot in Europe either so there’s not much riding on this one with no threat of relegation.

Both teams suffered defeats last weekend with Gloucester going down 25-22 to Sale away from home, while Newcastle went down 17-34 to log-leaders Bristol on their own patch.

When the sides met out in Newcastle back in January, it was the Flacons who emerged victorious running out 22-10 victors in a rather dull affair. Prior to that victory, the Falcons had lost their previous three games against the ‘Cherry and Whites’.

Verdict: Gloucester 27/100

I was actually somewhat impressed by their performance last week and if they can put in a similar shift here, they should be able to get one over the visitors.

Worcester Warriors v Sale Sharks

Saturday 24 April
Sixways Stadium
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)

Worcester 4/1
Draw 25/1
Sale 19/100

The penultimate game of the weekend is probably the biggest mismatch of the round as the last-placed Worcester Warriors will play host to the third-placed Sale Sharks. The visitors will be looking to claim maximum points against the tournament whipping boys. Doing so will see them strengthen their grip on a semi-final berth with just a couple rounds to go before the close of the regular season.

The two sides e0perienced contrasting result this past weekend with the Warriors being hammered 50-26 by Harlequins – this was their 13th defeat of the season – while Sale managed to cling on for a hard fought 25-22 win over a struggling Gloucester.

Verdict: Sale 19/100

I expect a massive win for the visitors who will be desperate to claim the full five-point haul.

Wasps v Bath

Sunday 25 April
Ricoh Arena
16:00

To Win (80 Mins)

Wasps 58/100
Draw 20/1
Bath 15/10

The round comes to a close with what should be an absolute cracker with old rivals Wasps and Bath locking horns at the Ricoh Arena. The hosts are still in the hunt for a semi-final berth as they trail the fourth-placed Harlequins by ten points. Wasps, on the other hand, are pretty much out of the running as they are a further nine points back.

Bath were able to edge out a vital 21-20 victory over Leicester this past weekend. And while they didn’t play anywhere near as well as they can, the win did show that they have a certain maturity to their game.

Wasps fared far worse this past weekend as they were taken to task by reigning champions Exeter, going down 43-13.

Verdict: Wasps 58/100

These teams are generally involved in open games and with the weather forecast for Coventry looking good, my money will be on the over points markets which I’ll have a strike on as soon as the Live In-Play betting opens up. I’ll also be having a small dabble on the home win.

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