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Gallagher Premiership

PREVIEW: 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership – Round 16

Bath take on Saracens at The Rec while Saints visit Harlequins at The Stoop in the pick of round 16 Gallagher Premiership action.

Tom Jones of Northampton Saints

Bath take on Saracens at The Rec while Saints visit Harlequins at The Stoop in the pick of round 16 Gallagher Premiership action.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Friday 26 April

Bath 11/10 | Draw 20/1 | Saracens 78/100 (20:45)

Handicap
Bath (+2.5) 17/20 | Saracens (-2.5) 17/20

Bath may be second, but their position on the log remains a precarious one. Five points off leaders Saints and just two better off their opponents this week, Johann van Graan’s men head into Friday’s clash with all still to play for. The continued absence of Finn Russell, who’s possibly out for the rest of the season, is a hammer blow but one which they will need to overcome fast.

With three matches left, Sarries will eye this matchup at The Rec as the perfect chance to go second. They proved in their big win over Gloucester that, while European glory may have passed them by for yet another year, the defence of their Premiership crown remains well within reach.

Verdict: Saracens 78/100

Get on the visitors to take advantage of a fantastic opportunity to break into the top two with a narrow win at The Rec.

Saturday 27 April

Leicester 52/100 | Draw 20/1 | Bristol 17/10 (16:00)

Handicap
Leicester (-4.5) 8/10 | Bristol (+4.5) 9/10

Tigers are eighth, six points off the top four following their 17-40 hammering at Northampton last week. Despite the stars in their squad, they’ve been an inconsistent bunch this season and it looks as though their playoff ambitions may have evaporated.

Bears meanwhile are in the form of their lives, with last week’s 85-14 demolition job of the Falcons seeing them average a massive 57 points from their last four games. Now fourth after their late-season surge, they should keep the momentum flowing at Welford Road here.

Verdict: Bristol 17/10

Bristol are scoring for fun at the minute and their form should power them to another comfortable win.

Harlequins 13/20 | Draw 20/1 | Northampton Saints 27/20 (16:05)

Handicap
Harlequins (-3.5) 17/20 | Northampton (+3.5) 17/20

It’s always difficult to know what to expect from Harlequins, who now occupy fifth after their six-point loss at Sale. A win over the leaders on Saturday may be just the boost the squad needs to force themselves back into the playoff spots, but do they have enough self-belief to rebound from their chronic inconsistency of late?

First place is far from wrapped up, with Northampton just five clear of Bath. Although Quins at The Stoop presents a tricky test, it’s one Phil Downson’s group should overcome if they truly mean business this season.

Verdict: Saints 27/20

The visitors are looking too good to come unstuck in London.

Sunday 28 April

Newcastle Falcons 11/1 | Draw 40/1 | Sale Sharks 1/33 (16:00)

Handicap
Newcastle (+21.5) 17/20 | Sale (-21.5) 17/20

Falcons will still be recovering from the 71-point defeat they took at Ashton Gate and picking up what would be a first win over Sale on Sunday is unlikely. Despite their mediocrity this campaign, the visitors are just three points off the top four in sixth and may yet sneak into the post-season.

Verdict: Sale (-21.5) 17//20

Sale Sharks to collect a full-house of points at Kingston Park.

Gloucester 27/20 | Draw 20/1 | Exeter Chiefs 6/10 (16:00)

Handicap
Gloucester (+3.5) 17/20 | Exeter (-3.5) 17/20

It remains to be seen just how many of George Skivington’s A-listers will feature here ahead of next week’s huge Challenge Cup semi-final date with Benetton, and there’s a good chance seventh-placed Exeter, not quite out of the play-off race yet this season, will capitalise.

Verdict: Exeter 6/10

Chiefs to take the win away from home. 6/10 represent really good value here. 

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