The season is now coming to an end with just 3 rounds to play and its time for the clubs to make their last push for the top 4, top 6 or that all important safety from relegation. Both of these have something to play for with 1 win for Sale just about making them safe and Gloucester sat in 5th level on pts with Northampton in 4th.
Sale have improved massively since Christmas with 4 wins and a tie to go with their 3 losses to Saracens, Quins and Leicester compared with just the sole win before Christmas. They are now finding a settled side with just one change tonight compared to the changes they were making early in the season. The bench looks strong and the side now appear to be playing for each other which has resulted in them edging the close games and nicking the points.
15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Will Addison, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Kearnan Myall, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Al Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Tom Brady
Gloucester have also found a bit of form winning 3 of their last 4 in the league but a loss at home to the non travelling Biarritz will have hurt them and those 3 wins have also come at home. Their away form still continues to haunt them with only wins this year at bottom placed London Welsh and 3rd bottom London Irish as well as a defeat of the off form Northampton. They have got closer this year compared to other years but just don’t seem able to close these games out having lost 5 games by 6 or less points.
15 Rob Cook, 14 Jonny May, 13 Mike Tindall (c), 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Will James, 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Ben Morgan, 20 Andy Hazell, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Henry Trinder, 23 Charlie Sharples.
Recent meetings in Sale:
The North west is not a happy hunting ground for Gloucester with a series of results going back 10 years that has only seen 1 draw (10 years ago) and 9 losses.
Sale 13-11 Gloucester
Sale 36-31 Gloucester
Sale 28-23 Gloucester
Sale 23-9 Gloucester
Sale 22-16 Gloucester
Sale 20-19 Gloucester
Sale 18-15 Gloucester
Sale 35-17 Gloucester
Sale 38-20 Gloucester
Sale 30-30 Gloucester
Prediction: For me the best bet tonight is Sale to win between 1-12 pts which is best priced at 3.2 with Willie Hills.
Reasons: Past history between the two have seen Sale win 9 of the last 10 with 6 of the last 7 being 1-12 pt win for Sale. Gloucester’s 5 away losses this year have been between 1-6 pts points. Sale at home this year have not won or lost with a more than 12 pt gap. Sale need the win tonight as a visit to Northampton next week may yield nothing and London Welsh having a reasonably easy run in could see last day nerves at home to Wasps who may be chasing a European spot. The weather should also see this is a close game as well as both teams being on edge with much to play for.