After a two-week hiatus, the Gallagher Premiership makes its return this weekend with a four-game fixture list that includes a tasty looking clash between Harlequins and Gloucester.
Friday 25 November
Harlequins 4/10 | Draw 20/1 | Gloucester 2/1
Quins (-6.5) 9/10 | Gloucester (+6.5) 9/10
We kick things off at the Stoop where fourth-placed Harlequins take on fifth-placed Sale. Only a solitary point splits the two sides on the standings so there’s quite a bit on the line here.
‘Quins were in decent touch prior to the break winning three of their last four games with their most recent win being a narrow 26-24 victory over London Irish. They were without lynchpin Marcus Smith for that fixture and they will be without the talented fly-half again this weekend as he will turn out for England against South Africa.
Gloucester also had a mixed-bag prior to the break as they won two and lost two with their most recent Premiership fixture seeing them go down 21-27 to Newcastle. Like their opponents, they will be without a prolific youngster with Louis Reece-Zammit on international duty with Wales.
The absence of Smith is a massive blow for Quins and I reckon they will struggle here. As such, I’m on the away team this Friday.
Newcastle 14/10 | Draw 20/1 | Exeter 61/100
Newcastle (+3.5) 17/20 | Exeter (-3.5) 17/20
More Friday night lights action next up with Newcastle and Exeter set to square off at Kingston Park. The hosts currently reside in ninth on the log and have only won two of the seven fixtures they have played. They almost came good in their last outing, going down by just three points to Northampton.
Exeter have enjoyed a far better start to the season winning four of their eight fixtures.They currently reside in sixth place on the standings but are only four points adrift of third-placed Northampton.
Newcastle have struggled this term and I can’t see them getting one over a far from vintage but still solid Exeter outfit.
Sale 23/100 | Draw 25/1 | Bristol 33/10
Sale (-11.5) 9/10 | Bristol (+11.5) 9/10
Onto Saturday’s solitary fixture which will see high-flying Sale play Bristol, who sit in second to last place on the standings. Sale will be targeting the full five-point haul here with log-leaders Saracens, who sit 15 points ahead of Sale, on a bye week.
Sale had a really solid fortnight before the Premiership went on a two-week break as they beat Gloucester 27-17 and followed that up with a 40-19 win over Harlequins in the Premiership Cup.
Bristol, on the other hand, went into the break in horrid form losing their last three fixtures with their most recent result being a 10-25 loss to Saracens. While they know their way to the try line, Bristol have struggled defensively this term.
They’re flying high on the standings for a reason and while I expect a high-scoring affair here, I can’t see Bristol really troubling Sale.
Leicester 1/4 | Draw 22/1 | London Irish 31/10
Leicester (-9.5) 17/20| Irish (+9.5) 17/20
The Round 10 action comes to a close at Welford Road where seventh-placed Leicester will take on cellar-dwellers London Irish. The hosts have managed three wins from their seven games while London Irish have just won a solitary fixture.
Leicester produced a truly mixed bag prior to the break going down 19-18 to a struggling Bath side after beating Harlequins 19-27. There were mitigating circumstances for their defeat to Bath, however, as Leicester had not played a game for a fortnight prior to the fixture at the Rec.
London Irish have been desperately unlucky to have not won more games going down by two points to both Harlequins and then by four points to Exeter in their last two games.