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Guscott's predictions

Jeremy Guscott
By Jeremy Guscott
BBC Sport rugby union expert

SATURDAY

Leicester v Bath

Leicester v Bath

I think Bath have got a much better chance of winning at Welford Road than they did when they were thrashed back in April.

When the two sides met in the Premiership regular season, Leicester ran out 43-20 winners, and the Tigers are always a good bet at home.

The difference between Sunday's game and the one back in April is that Bath have really kicked on over the past four or five weeks.

The confidence is back and they are playing some really good rugby, the forwards are off-loading and their backs are showing great ability.

Danny Grewcock and Luke Watson didn't play for Bath last time and they will make a difference. Waston's on fire, Grewcock brings experience and a lot of aggression, and Leicester will find it a lot harder in the forwards this time.

There is so much rivalry between the clubs, but it's been fairly quiet over the past few years, probably because Leicester have been so much more successful in recent times.

However, the memories of the fans are a lot longer than those of the players, so the atmosphere will be just like the old days.

Welford Road will be intimidating, ferocious and completely partisan and it will be a really tight affair.

Prediction: Bath by less than seven

Match preview


Northampton v Saracens

Northampton v Saracens

Saracens beat Northampton 28-27 at Franklin's Gardens in the penultimate round of the Premiership regular season and I think they can go to Northampton and win once again.

In fact, if they get parity up front then they will win.

Saints may have backs of the quality of Ben Foden, Chris Ashton and Jon Clarke but Sarries are on such a roll they are almost unstoppable.

Teams get into a mentality where they have so much confidence that what they are doing is right and it works - it's not arrogance, it's just an incredible self-belief.

Sarries are on one of these rolls and they are going to be very, very difficult to beat.

It won't be as high scoring as last time - Sarries will try and play in the same way but Northampton will look to tighten it up.

Saracens should not get caught up in their lack of representation in the England squad, and I have to stay I was shocked that Brad Barritt wasn't in the main touring party to Australia.

They should just go about their business and what better way to reply than winning at Northampton and possibly going on and winning the Premiership.

Prediction: Sarries by less than seven

Match preview



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see also
Leicester 43-20 Bath
03 Apr 10 |  English
Northampton 27-28 Saracens
24 Apr 10 |  English
Jeremy Guscott Q&A
10 May 10 |  Rugby Union
Guscott's predictions
07 May 10 |  English
Guinness Premiership fixtures
09 Aug 06 |  Fixtures


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