London Irish vs Exeter

Both these teams come into this match chasing different playoff positions. Exeter are chasing a top two position to secure a home semifinal while Irish are after sixth position which will see them qualify for European rugby next season. The teams have contrasting recent form as Exeter have won three in a row while Irish have lost three consecutively. The problem with a team like Irish is that they lack squad depth and any injuries have a serious impact on the class of players they have in reserve. Exeter has no such issues as they have started to peak at the right time. Their early exit from the Champions Cup has allowed them to focus solely on defending their Premiership title. They have picked full strength teams for their league clashes therefore they have been so dominant in the last three games. London Irish have internationals Agustin Creevy and Paddy Jackson in their ranks but it’s their forward back that will be under most pressure. The Chiefs boast the strongest pack in England and have a simple formula for victory. They use their scrum to win penalties and kick for touch, where they use their rolling maul to score tries. The brilliant form of back rower Sam Simmonds has been finally rewarded when he was selected for the British and Irish Lions. He will be keen to continue with his try scoring exploits against London Irish. His possesses immense power and pace and troubles all opposition’s defenses. The Irish team will do well to unleash their potent backline of Ben Loader and Ollie Hassell-Collins. They are both young wingers with lots of potential and this will be great opportunity to test their skills against the best in the league.

TIP:The Chiefs have shown that they are not ready to relinquish their crown when they easily beat the league leaders Bristol Bear two week ago. Irish on the other hand were given a thrashing in their outing against Newcastle. The powerful all international front row of Exeter has demolished all the teams that they have faced. I see this trend continuing in this match as Irish have a weakness at scrum time. The Chiefs are not only powerful up front but also have attacking threats like Tom O’Flaherty and Stuart Hogg that can score tries from anywhere on the field. Hogg loves to run at the opposition especially if they kick waywardly, then he is at his most dangerous. The bookies have the Chiefs as heavy favourites and I agree with this assessment therefore I’m tipping Exeter for a comfortable victory. The best odds on the Exeter victory are: Worldsportsbetting 1.22, Playabets 1.17 and Sunbet 1.20

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

London Irish vs Exeter

  • There has been just one victory for London Irish in the last seven matches between these two sides.
  • In six home matches against the Chiefs, Irish have won just once.
  • The last time Irish beat the Chiefs at home was in 2015.
  • Latest results for both teams

London Irish lost their last match against Newcastle Falcons 52-27 and Exeter won their last match against Worcester 41-10.

  • PREDICTION

The Chiefs struggled to reach the form of last season when they won the double but in recent matches they seem to be at their best again. This spells danger for Irish as their form seems to be deserting them at the wrong time of the season. Exeter is a very patient team and goes through multiple phases before wearing the opposition down. This tactic has worked for a long time and still no team has found a way to combat this. The Irish team will need a strong showing from their forwards just to be competitive in this match. I see the Exeter team dominating all facets of the game and predicting a Chiefs victory by more than 14 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

London Irish

15 Tom Parton, 14 Ben Loader, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Phil Cokanasiga, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Nick Phipps, 8 Albert Tuisue, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 Matt Rogerson (captain), 5 Rob Simmons, 4 George Nott, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke

Exeter

15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Simmonds (captain), 9 Jack Maunder, 8 Sam Simmonds, 7 Jacques Vermeulen, 6 Dave Ewers, 5 Sam Skinner, 4 Jonny Gray, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Alec Hepburn

  • Odds for this bet

The best odds on the Exeter victory are as follows.

Worldsportsbetting 1.22

Playabets 1.17

Sunbet 1.20

  • Odds comparison on a Exeter Chiefs handicap victory

The complete odds on the Exeter handicap victory are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting (-11.5) 1.90

Playabets (-11.5) 1.86

Sunbet (-11.5) 1.82

  • Predictions and Odds in details

The Chiefs early season form was down to injuries and their participation in Europe but now that players are fit and the main goal is to retain the title, we have seen their ruthless streak return. This is a scary prospect for Irish and will need an immediate return to form to prevent a landslide victory for Exeter. The Exeter team isn’t full with big name stars but they work so well between backs and forwards that when they are on song  it’s virtually impossible to stop them. The Chiefs will be chasing the bonus point victory to leapfrog Sale Sharks into second place. The greater desire for victory for the Chiefs makes me believe that they will easily overcome the handicap that the bookies are offering. The best odds on the Chiefs handicap victory are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-11.5) 1.90, Playabets (-11.5) 1.86 and Sunbet (-11.5) 1.82

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