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Who will be successful this weekend?

Intriguing matches in the Aviva Premiership

Posted Oct 29, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

We have a full fixture list in the Aviva Premiership to look forward to this weekend, with all 12 teams looking to put some valuable points on the board.
Harlequins versus Bath is probably the most intriguing match whilst leaders London Irish will be looking to maintain their advantage at the top of the table when they entertain struggling Sale. But how will this weekend’s fixtures pan out?
Well, if I was a betting man, and sometimes I am, this is how I would predict the outcomes on Saturday and Sunday…
First up is Gloucester versus Leicester. Equal on points in fourth and fifth respectively, this promises to be a cracking match. Both teams have started the season slowly but Gloucester have found some much needed form recently to move up the table, culminating with last weekend’s 33-26 victory over Harlequins. Meanwhile the Tigers beat Bath 21-15 at Welford Road last Saturday and will be looking to maintain that kind of performance. This will be close but I expect the hosts to nick it late on. Gloucester to win.
My champions in waiting, Northampton Saints entertain second bottom Newcastle in the early kick off of the day. Saints dismantled Wasps last weekend 10-37 and are a point off top spot in second. Meanwhile, Newcastle, with just one win all season, narrowly lost 13-15 at home to Saracens and this is a massive improvement on how they have been playing. Maybe this game isn’t as clear cut as I think, but I can only see one winner and that’s Northampton.
Next, Exeter travel to Saracens that again sees a team at the top play a team at the bottom. Saracens have won five of their six outings to date and sit third whilst Exeter, who went down 9-12 at home to league leaders London Irish last weekend, are third bottom. Exeter started the season so brightly but they seem to be slipping at present. Again, I can only see one winner and with Saracens at home, it has to be them. Sorry Chiefs.
On Sunday, the best match is the Harlequins Bath encounter. Both teams have struggled to really get going so far this season with three defeats each in their six games and I think this could prove to be a close encounter because of that. The Quins are a free scoring side whilst Bath are reasonably tight defensively so it should be an intriguing match. I think Bath will sneak a cheeky win in the one.
Leeds Carnegie then entertain Wasps. Easy one – Wasps to win and win comfortably!
The final fixture of the weekend sees London Irish versus Sale. Irish, who were poor in their 12-9 win over Exeter last weekend, still rightly remain top and I expect them to walk away with the points here, easily seeping aside the Sharks.
All in all, it should be a cracking weekend of rugby in the Aviva Premiership.

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