The West Country derby between the two is often a hard fought match stirring the passions of both sets of fans. As with many a derby match if you beat your neighbour then you have the bragging rights.
Bath come in to this game in good form, having only lost to form team Saracens in the opening 4 weeks. It was a disappointment for them to lose away at Sale, although that may not look too bad later in the season as Sale seem to have got it together now. They had the break for Europe where they have gone away to Bordeaux and won and then at home v the Gwent Dragons while still able to rest some of their players, who either come back into the side today or were given an extra week to recover from injury.
Gloucester have endured a poor start to the season and can’t seem to decide on their best side, losing their opening 2 games before a win at home to Northampton. A win in Newcastle followed where they haven’t had much success but then a horrific performance the following week at home to Exeter put them back to square one. Nigel Davies elected to play 2 different teams in the H Cup winning one at home v Perpignan, while putting up a decent performance in defence at Munster. The side is freshened up again with only 6 of that team in Munster finding a starting spot. England have released both Freddie Burns who looked sharp in the last 20 in Munster and workhorse 7 Matt Kvesic who will both line up and strengthen the Gloucester side.
This was historically a match that Bath won with Gloucester not having any wins in a long time however 2 wins in the past 3 seasons put that hoodoo to bed. There is no real pattern to the matches with some high scoring affairs and some games won just with the boot so no real angle to the pts total. However, Bath have been strong at home in the last couple of seasons. Last year saw losses to just Northampton and Saracens while there were only a couple of big victories over the bottom clubs. The majority were wins 1-12 and that is where the bet is. Gloucester last season lost just 1 away game by more than 12 and they way they defended last week in Munster would suggest that Nigel Davies has got them very organised. With Bath still not firing on ll cylinders and Gloucester perhaps now finding their best side this looks the bet for me.
Bath 1-12 @2.5
Of the other games tonight I am not keen on the Rabo league with too many changes to the sides. Ulster look strong and should beat the handicap in Cardiff but its France where I will put a little bet in the other game tonight.
Bayonne have only their home form to attempt to keep them in the top 14 while Montepellier will need to pick up points away if they are to be serious contenders again. I have looked at this match a few times now and with the tight handicap on offer I think the tie is the value bet @20-1