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Aviva Premiership Predictions – Round 3

Week 3 of the Aviva Premiership and the questions that now start to enter mind entre around whether each team is as good (or bad) as their form suggests in the opening two weeks.

Friday 19.45 – Worcester Warriors v Harlequins

Worcester are still searching for a win and they might think that dragging any side over to Sixways on a Friday night ought to give them a chance. Unfortunately we just can’t see it, Harlequins have not been great so far but they still look too strong for a Worcester side who already look as though they are really missing Kvesic and Goode.

Prediction – Harlequins

Friday 20.00 – Sale Sharks v London Wasps

Wasps are still searching for a win despite playing really well on the opening weekend, while Sale have had the high of beating Gloucester and the low of a home defeat to Newcastle.

Newcastle were uniquely equipped for a trip to the North West on a Friday night though and while Salford City Stadium does not have the aura of a Friday night at Edgley Park it is still pretty unpleasant for the visitors.

Prediction – Sale, just.

Saturday 15.00 – Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons

One of the easier games to predict, Leicester will win this. Newcastle are a pretty decent side but their fate in this league does not rest on games against the likes of Leicester and the Tigers will have too much quality.

The return of Dean Richards to Welford Road is an interesting side story though and his determination to get one up on his old team (no matter how much he says it is not a factor) might make a difference. For Tigers though this is the perfect game to follow that defeat to Bath.

Prediction – Leicester

Saturday 15.00 – London Irish v Exeter Chiefs

This has the making of a very interesting game, Exeter are always rock solid at home but can waver away, while Irish are expected to really struggle this year but player very well last week.

Asking them to do that two weeks running may be asking just a little to much though and Exeter will rightly go into this as slight favourites.

Prediction – Exeter, just.

Saturday 15.15 – Gloucester v Northampton Saints

If Gloucester could have chosen any team in the league to avoid this weekend it would have been Northampton. Two defeats in a row has completely deflated the pre season optimism at Kingsholm and the prospect of facing a rampant looking Saints side will not be improving their supporters mood.

Saints showed last week that they can adapt to just about any conditions and just look incredibly threatening, it seems their test will only truly begin once they have to start testing the outer limits of the squad. Gloucester will be without Nick Wood for 8 weeks after his stamp last week, it is a loss that they can ill afford, in an area of the park where they need their best players available.

Prediction – Northampton Saints

Sunday 14.00 – Saracens v Bath

What a fixture this is, both Saracens and Bath have been very impressive so far this season, Bath’s victory against Leicester last weekend probably being the pick of their combined four victories.

We had Bath down as favourites for this but having reshuffled their cards in the backline there is a suspicion that it may not be quite as strong as last week. Saracens have also shuffled their cards in the backs a little, Alex Goode returns to the side after his injury lay off and will be relishing his match up against new kid on the block Anthony Watson.

Keep an eye on Gavin Henson too, if he scores any point Bath fans get their money back as part of a Saracens marketing ploy.

Prediction – Saracens, just.

What are your predictions for the 3rd Round of the Aviva Premiership?

@FifteenRugbyXV

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