THE FINAL round of the Aviva Premiership kicks off tomorrow afternoon and for Leicester Tigers, Exeter Chiefs and Saracens this weekend is crucial as they battle it out for the two remaining semi-final spots.
Northampton Saints have already secured a home semi-final berth after finishing top of the pile for the first time in their history, losing just four times during the campaign. Bath too can breathe a sigh of relief having nailed down the other home spot.
After an impressive away win against Wasps last weekend, it is still possible for Leicester’s boss Richard Cockerill to guide the Tigers to their 11th consecutive year of play-off rugby.
However, opposition head coach Jim Mallinder has witnessed defeat just once in the last eight rounds. Although the Tigers’ boast an impressive record at Welford Road, with their only reversal in the tournament since November 2013 coming against London Irish last September, it looks like Saints have the upper hand. Tigers have won just one of their last four head-to-heads against the reigning champions.
Exeter Chiefs have amassed 11 bonus points to date this season – the joint second highest in the league – and will run out on their own patch at Sandy Park full of confidence following their impressive victory over Saracens 24-20 last weekend.
But their counterparts Sale will not give in easily as they could still overhaul Wasps for sixth place and the final European Champions Cup spot.
The Chiefs have done the double over Northampton and Saracens this season and also overcame Bath for the first time. Sale have lost four of their last six league outings and have been particularly poor away from home. It appears that Sale’s Mark Cueto, the leading Premiership try scorer, will retire on a sombre note. An easy home triumph looks on the cards, so buy Exeter supremacy at 11 with Sporting Index.
The last of the three play-off contenders, Saracens, haven’t done themselves any favours of late after losing to Northampton and Exeter, which puts them on the verge of missing out on a top four finish for the first time in five years.
Saracens will be grateful that their last game is against London Welsh, whose relegation status was confirmed last month. Having not won or drawn a league game since their arrival into the top-flight, Welsh are set to struggle once again and add to their 953 points (average 45 points per game) conceded this season. It’s worth buying Saracens supremacy at 42 with Sporting Index.
Buy Exeter supremacy at 11 with Sporting Index
Buy Saracens supremacy at 42 with Sporting Index