European places on the line in Premiership
April 11, 2014
Danny Cipriani won the Player of the Month award for March © Pinnacle
Now that we know exactly what format European rugby will take next season, the teams gunning for a spot in the play-offs will know what they are playing for. Four rounds of the Aviva Premiership remain and ESPN brings you a preview of the weekend's action.
Sale Sharks v HarlequinsFriday, AJ Bell Stadium, 7.45pm, BT Sport
Form: Sale (home) WWWWW ; Harlequins (away) WLLLL
Sale are going about their business in a quiet, efficient manner and sit pretty in fifth in the Premiership. For Harlequins, they are still knocking on the play-off door but they know a loss hereand life will be very difficult.
Leicester Tigers v London WaspsSaturday, Welford Road, 3pm
Form: Leicester (home) WWDWW ; London Wasps (away) WLLWW
Leicester put in a valiant performance against Clermont last weekend but as they are now out of the Heineken Cup, their attention is solely on the Premiership. Wasps are still fighting on two fronts having booked a semi-final spot in the Amlin Challenge Cup but will want to keep up the pressure on the top six.
Worcester Warriors v Exeter ChiefsSaturday, Sixways, 3pm
Form: Worcester Warriors (home) LLLLL ; Exeter Chiefs (away) LLLLL
It took 17 long rounds but Worcester finally got their first Premiership win in the 2013-14 season coming against Newcastle a fortnight ago. They are still staring at the precipice of relegation but a win can do wonders for morale and they will hope to build on that against the Chiefs. Exeter will be buoyed by their LV= Cup success but they are lower down the Premiership table than they would like.
Gloucester Rugby v Bath RugbySaturday, Kingsholm, 3.15pm
Form: Gloucester Rugby (home) LWLWW ; Bath Rugby (away) WLDWW
Things have not gone to plan for Gloucester this season and crashing out of the Amlin Challenge Cup last weekend will do little to lift the gloom around Kingsholm. But nothing raises the team quite like a match against their rivals Bath. Bath fell to Sale in their last match of the Premiership with Danny Cipriani giving George Ford a lesson in game management but their victory over Brive will give them some momentum.
Saracens v Northampton SaintsSunday, Allianz Park, 2pm, BT Sport
Form: Saracens (home) WWLWW ; Northampton Saints (away) WWWWL
There is every chance this match may end up being the Premiership final on May 31. Sarries and Saints have been the pace-setters in the top flight and both are through to the final four of the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup respectively. Sarries will want to secure top seeding in the Premiership and a win will help them but a victory for the Saints and they will pin back Saracens' seven-point lead.
London Irish v Newcastle FalconsSunday, Madejski Stadium, 3pm
Form: London Irish (home) LLWLL ; Newcastle Falcons (away) LLLLL
Despite showing some good form, London Irish are still at the wrong end of the table sitting in tenth. Relegation won't be an issue for Brian Smith's men but they would have wanted to be looking down the table rather than up it. The same goes for Newcastle. They fell to Worcester in their last match and with nine points lying between them and the 12th-placed Warriors, they know a win here will give them some breathing room.
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