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Saints to take over at the top
Full weekend of Aviva Premiership action on the cards
Posted Nov 05, 2010 by Jeff Dawson
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The Aviva Premiership is back in action this evening despite the Autumn Tests tomorrow, with reigning champion Leicester Tigers at home to Harlequins and Sale Sharks entertaining Northampton Saints.
The other sides play tomorrow and Sunday, and this gives the Saints the perfect opportunity to take over the top spot of the division from London Irish again.
Saints are in great form this season and trail the Irish by a point and they will no doubt be keen to put in another solid performance to put pressure on the Irish who face a daunting trip to Wasps on Sunday.
Saints hammered Newcastle Falcons last weekend 34-13 and expect a similar outcome this weekend. Sale ran Irish close last Sunday, and despite being at home, I can’t see how they will cope with the Saints side. The visitors to win this one.
Tigers have struggled so far this season, losing more than they’ve won and the visit of Harlequins will be a massive test for them. The Quins are a middle of the road side but they have a pretty potent attack and are capable of winning this one at Welford Road. It should be a pretty close game but I’m going to go for Tigers to take the spoils.
The only game on Saturday could be full of fireworks (excuse the pun for this time of year!). Struggling Exeter Chiefs take on bottom of the table, without a win, Leeds Carnegie at 3pm. Both teams could do with a win – Leeds perhaps more so – and I can see this being relatively close but expect the hosts to take the points.
On Sunday, Bath entertain Saracens, Newcastle welcome Gloucester and Irish travel to Wasps to complete the fixture list.
Bath have struggled recently and will be without England captain Lewis Moody whilst Saracens suffered a shock home defeat to Exeter last weekend. Expect this match to be close and full of passion and don’t expect many points. I think Bath will sneak this one, but I think it’ll be extremely close.
Newcastle simply don’t stand a chance against the revitalised Gloucester side who have put together a string of decent results over the last four or five weeks. Gloucester will walk this one.
And finally, London Irish have a tricky game at Wasps. Although Wasps have struggled a little this season, they are a team capable of beating anyone on their day and this is a potential banana skin for the league leaders. I’m going to back Irish to continue with their winning form, but this could easily go the other way.