Rugby Union | Premiership round 10 | Preview and Odds

After a couple of weekends of European action, the Gallagher Premiership returns with a bang this weekend, with some cracking fixtures lined up.

The top two sides in England face off against each other at Sandy Park, while Leicester look to arrest their slump against in-form Harlequins, and Worcester face Northampton in what is an under-the-radar relegation clash.

Our Rugby Union expert is on hand to guide you through the best bets from the upcoming weekend of rugby.

Exeter v Saracens

The top two teams face off at Sandy Park for a Christmas cracker, and both teams have been the best in the nation by some margin.

With just one loss between them, and a gap of 12 points separating them from the chasing pack, many have already pencilled in Saracens v Chiefs as the Premiership final at Twickenham come the summer months.

Sandy Park in December is a distinctly different challenge, and Sarries have started slowly of late. In the wet, windy conditions notorious of the Devon stadium, Exeter will look to control the game with simple possession rugby and a powerful maul.

Saracens are slight underdogs at evens, but I think Exeter will control the game, and their set piece dominance could be the deciding factor in what will undoubtedly be a tight game. Back the Chiefs at 4/5 with

Leicester v Harlequins

Much has been made of Leicester losing eight in a row for the first time ever, but Geordan Murphy has been giving the head coach role full-time, so the board are clearly impressed enough to see the club trending in the right direction.

The Tigers squad is stacked with talent, and it is only a matter of time before they turn it around and start getting results. Quins have been a pleasant surprise this season with many, including myself in the season preview, expecting them to struggle.

However, Paul Gustard has them organised and they have collected a healthy amount of bonus points. A trip to Welford Road is always intimidating however, and Leicester are quite rightly 1/2 to win at home, something I think is a foregone conclusion, and by a double digit margin.

Worcester v Northampton

Friday night under the lights is always an exciting experience for fans and players alike, and Worcester v Northampton should be a high scoring affair.Both teams have a very similar points scored, and have conceded the same amount, and are similarly matched.

One would expect Northampton to be performing much better given their squad on paper, but Worcester have dug deep on plenty of occasions this season, and have a backline with a healthy blend of experience and firepower, personified by Duncan Weir and Josh Adams.

Worcester are favourites at home, and can be backed at 8/13. I think the Saints will be really fired up for this, and will know that if they are to reach the playoffs, they will have to start turning their season around now, and feed big winger Taqele Naiyaravoro, who is starting to find his feet in English rugby.

Saints are 6/5 to win, and I fully expect them to gain a  victory on Friday.




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