Aviva premiership exeter fancied to maintain form with sale success

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Sale v Exeter

Friday, 19:45

Live on BT Sport 1

Sale's success last season was down to their formidable form at the AJ Bell Stadium but their home record has not been as strong this year. The Sharks have lost three of their last five league games at the venue which has left them languishing in ninth place. Steve Diamond's side come into this match off the back of three successive defeats in all competitions.

Exeter made a stuttering start to the campaign but appear to have found top gear heading towards the festive period. The Chiefs have scored 12 tries in their last two Premiership wins over Newcastle and Worcester. This is the type of form which took Rob Baxter's side all the way to last season's final and with the team up to fifth, a repeat performance is certainly not out of the question.

This match brings together one side struggling for a positive result and another full of confidence after their recent surge in form. There is not much between them in the betting but in-form Exeter have so much more in their favour and can take advantage of a brittle Sale team this weekend. Expect the Chiefs to make it four wins on the bounce and the visitors should have more than enough to cover a slender handicap.

Recommended Bet

Back Exeter -2.5 to win in the Sportsbook @ 9/10

Leicester v Northampton

Saturday, 17:00

Live on BT Sport 2

Leicester enjoyed a strong November winning all of their four games across two competitions. The Tigers claimed a dominant 25-6 home league victory over Harlequins before scrapping to a win at basement side Bristol last weekend. Richard Cockerill's side remain on course for a semi-final spot sitting fourth in the table heading towards the second half of the campaign.

Northampton's season has been a big disappointment so far and it will take a significant recovery for Jim Mallinder's side to challenge for silverware in the spring. The Saints have lacked consistency all year long and their latest setback came in the surprise home defeat to Newcastle last weekend. Scoring tries has been a problem for them with just seven in as many league games.

Leicester have an exceptional home record and it is hard to see them stumbling against the Saints. The Tigers have only lost once at Welford Road since February, winning their last five home matches. Leicester have won the last four clashes with Northampton but nine points was the biggest margin of victory so another narrow success looks a likely outcome.

Recommended Bet

Back Leicester to win by 1-12 points in the Sportsbook @ 29/20

Worcester v Wasps

Sunday, 15:00

Live on BT Sport 1

Worcester will be grateful for the presence of Bristol in the top flight which is enabling them to stay off the foot of the Premiership. The Warriors have only managed one league victory, against Newcastle in October, this season. It looks like it will be a long winter for Worcester and any improvement from Bristol could spell trouble in the battle to avoid relegation.

Wasps' attention is directed at the opposite end of the table with a title challenge a realistic proposition. Seven wins from their opening nine Premiership matches leaves Dai Young's side within touching distance of leaders Saracens. Wasps will be hoping for an improvement on their last away match though after a disappointing defeat at Gloucester.

Both sides need a result for contrasting reasons but the gulf in quality is stark and Worcester are hard to fancy this weekend. Wasps have the strength in depth to come away from Sixways with the victory which would be their fifth successive league win over them. But Worcester have not lost by more than a point at home this season so Wasps could be restricted to a tight win.

Recommended Bet

Back Wasps to win by 1-12 points in the Sportsbook @ 6/4


Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster