Rugby Union: Saracens Head To Tottenham

Having decided to play the Bristol match at Tottenham Hotspurs’ home, it will be most interesting to see what the crowd will be when the figure is announced.

Saracens, second in the league on 64 points and already seemingly in the top four play-offs, should be strong favourites to beat Bristol who’ve lost their last two Premiership matches against Bath and Harlequins.

Sarries will be able to pick a top-class squad because their England players are back, so Maro Itoje, Elliot Daly, Max Malins and Nick Isiekwe, Jamie George and Alex Lozowski should be in the line-up as they aim to clinch a 13th win in 19 league games.

Bristol also see the return of internationals Harry  Randall and Kyle Sinckler as coach pat Lam seeks a big improvement in form and results.

The Bears in 10th place on 35 points are going through a mediocre patch having won only six Premiership games and losing 12.

The London club are the joint top try scorers (72) in the competition and should be capable of outplaying their opponents whose defence has conceded 67 tries.

Expect a good and raucous atmosphere at Spurs where Saracens ought to be too strong for the opposition from Ashton Gate.

Elsewhere in the Premiership…Wasps are at home in Coventry where struggling Newcastle Falcons are the visitors and considering their bad run of form in the league, it would be a major shock if the Tyneside club were to win.

Wasps, ninth on 44 points, retain hopes of making the play-offs and, now that Newcastle have dropped to second from bottom, will have every reason to be confident.

Expect number eight Alfie Barbeary to be back and Wasps will be optimistic of a win considering Newcastle’s recent run of five consecutive losses in the Premiership and the fact that they’re at home.

Interestingly back in October, Newcastle had one of their better days when Wasps were beaten 18-14, but it would be a big surprise if they were able to repeat that result this Saturday.

For the record: Wasps, who are not having the best of campaigns, have won only eight of their 18 games and losing 10.Newcastle on 26 points will be keen to put this season behind them, having won only five matches and they’ve been beaten 12 times.

Sale face a West Country clash against Bath

The other Premiership club in the North of England, Sale Sharks, have a longish trip to Bath who will be thankful to have their internationals back at the Rec – Sam Underhill, Will Stuart, Taulupe Faletau and Josh Bayliss.

Sale still have hopes of making the top four..currently, they are 7th on 52 points, and as things stand are fighting for a play-off spot alongside Exeter, Gloucester, London Irish, Northampton Saints and possibly Wasps.

Bath, bottom with only 25 points from 18 matches, are showing some improved form as they’ve enjoyed success in their recent games against Bristol and Newcastle Falcons, and with home advantage their vocal support at the Rec may lead to another victory in what has been a poor season.

Head coach Neal Hatley has seen only four victories, and one of the big issues on Saturday will be how Bath cope with the threat posed by Sharks’ scrum half Faf de Klerk, one of several South Africans in the Sale squad.

Sale are a far better attacking team than Bath and, indeed, their defence record is also superior..the Sharks have scored 59 tries and conceded 51, but Bath have scored only 40 and let in 71, so they may find it hard to win at the Rec.