AVIVA Premiership Fixtures Weekend 5-7 January
2017 ended in a dramatic fashion for the Aviva Premiership with hard-fought wins for the Wasps and the Newcastle Falcons. Exeter rounded up the year with a 30-6 triumph over the Tigers. This weekend we can look forward to some fantastic games for round 13 of the Aviva Premiership. Here are some of the weekend’s top games
Wasps v Saracens - Sunday 7th January, kick-off @ 1500hrs
Wasps welcome the Saracens at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7th January. Both teams head into this looking to build on their respective end of the year wins. However, Wasps boast of a more impressive form having won all of their last five matches. Saracens have only managed two wins in their last five. On the standings, Saracens are second with 40 points 10 behind table-toppers Exeter. Wasps are a close 3rd with 39 points heading into this one.
The last time the two outfits met, Saracens came out on top with a 38-19 win. On that day Jamie George lit up the Allianz with a hat-trick which sent Saracens to the top of the premiership. However, Sunday’s game is expected to be a much closer contest with the Wasps having found their form as the year drew to a close. Heading into this one Wasps will be without injured Nathan Hughes, Jimmy Gopperth and Elliot Daly. The three face some lengthy spells on the sidelines and are not expected to be fit until early February. Joe Launchbury is expected to lead out the side with in-form Marcus Watson also in contention for this. There are no major suspensions on the side, and Dai Young is expected to name a similar side to the one that saw off Bath last time out.
Saracens are looking to build upon their back-to-back wins and give some competition to Exeter. They head into this one with no major injuries and suspensions. Brad Barritt is set to make his 208th appearance for the Saracens as he looks to come back to full fitness after an injury setback. Richard Wigglesworth and Duncan are expected to make it to the side after starting from the bench last time out. The ever-present Alex Goode is expected to lead the backline flanked by Owen Farrell and Ben Spencer in the halves.
Wasp v Saracens is expected to be a great matchup, and the Ricoh Arena is the place to be on Sunday.
Newcastle Falcons v Exeter Chiefs - Sunday 7th January - kick off @ 1500hrs
Table toppers Exeter chiefs travel to Kingsholm Park to face the Newcastle Falcons. Chiefs lead the premiership with 50 points heading into round 13 while Falcons are a distant fifth 32 points. The Chiefs are in good form having won all of their last five matches coming into this one. Falcons will be looking to make it four wins in six when they play the Chiefs on Sunday. The last time the two teams met Exeter came out on top with a 34-24 win. Overall Chiefs emerged victorious on 12 occasions in this fixture with the Falcons winning only once. Exeter head coach Rob Baxter will be keen to return to Sandy Park with a win, but he will be wary of the potent Falcons attack.
Leicester Tigers v London Irish - Saturday 6th January - kick off @ 1500hrs
The Tigers host London Irish at Welford Road on Saturday. Heading into round 13 both teams need to improve on their performances, which makes this fixture a much-anticipated one. The Tigers have managed only one win in their last 5 games while London Irish hasn’t won in their last five. The table tells the same story with Leicester Tigers sitting in 9th position and the London Irish rounding off the table in 12th position having managed nine points all season. The last time the two met, Tigers edged out their opponents 27-28 in a closely contested affair. Both managers will look at this fixture as a possible points accumulator and are expected to name attacking sides to try and scoop the points. Given the teams' position on the table, this should be an exciting matchup.
Round 13 kicks off on Friday, and we can look forward to some exciting action throughout the weekend.
Friday 5th January - kick-off @ 1945hrs
Saturday 6th January - kick-off @ 1500hrs
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