Guinness Premiership Predictions: Round 18

Things are going to be very tense in the Guinness Premiership over the next few weeks, and we’re very excited about the prospect of a tense finish to the domestic season. Here are my predictions for this weekend’s matches.

Bath have been in resurgent form lately, and although news from the Harlequins camp suggests that training has been sharp and everyone has been firing since the arrival of Conor O’Shea, I’ve gone for a home win in this game, on the basis that a victory at The Rec is very hard to come by.

I’m also backing fellow westcountrymen Gloucester against Leeds. Their visitors have been battling for their lives and doing a pretty good job of it, but Gloucester now have a sniff of a top half finish and a Heineken Cup spot next season. They’ve been much more impressive over the last couple of months, and I’m backing them to take the spoils at Kingsholm.

I’m predicting wins for two Midlands clubs as well, in the shape of Leicester and Northampton. Both have their sights firmly set on a top-two finish, and they ought to continue their winning ways against a struggling Worcester side and London Wasps respectively. As one Wasps fan commented, the returning internationals seem to benefit the Saints more than Wasps: “They get Foden and Ashton back, and we get Tim Payne.”

Although Sale claimed a much-needed win against Wasps last week, I’m expecting them to come unstuck away at London Irish, who currently sit fifth in the table and need to win to move into a playoff position. With home advantage and their internationals back in the mix, Irish should be too strong for the Sharks.

Finally, in what is unlikely to be the finest match of the weekend, Saracens host Newcastle and I’ve gone for a narrow home victory and more problems for the Falcons, who could find themselves facing the drop.

Bath v Harlequins: Bath by 8
Gloucester Rugby v Leeds Carnegie: Gloucester Rugby by 13
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers: Leicester Tigers by 12
Northampton Saints v London Wasps: Northampton Saints by 9
London Irish v Sale Sharks: London Irish by 13
Saracens v Newcastle Falcons: Saracens by 8

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