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Will final day provide more thrills & spills? Get Premiership tips

Ben Darvill 17 May 2019
Saracens' players celebrate (credit:Richard Sellers/PA Wire/PA Images)

Can Exeter secure their place at the top, will Saracens pip the Chiefs to first-place, and can Gloucester go into the playoffs on the back of another win? Read on for our best bets for the final day of the 2018/19 Premiership. 

Exeter vs Northampton (Saturday, 16:00 BST)

Exeter host Northampton on the final day of the season with the two sides still with something to play for. Exeter currently sit at the top of the table with 81 points from their 21 games, and while they seemed as though they had all but secured top spot for the playoffs, their convincing loss to Saracens last time out has helped Sarries to cut the gap between themselves and the Chiefs to just four points, meaning they could still finish top if Exeter do not win and the second-placed side excel against Worcester. Northampton meanwhile have won 11 of their 21 games meaning they have picked up 56 points and lead Harlequins in fifth by just a single point. A loss on the final day could see them relinquish their playoff spot, so they will need to ensure that they match the points haul of Harlequins on the final day. In this one, we think the Chiefs will do everything to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, and they will target a Saints side that they have only lost to once in their last five games, with that defeat coming on the road. At Sandy Park this year, Exeter have been near-perfect, winning nine of their 10 home matches so far, and we think they will make it 10 from 11 with yet another win on Saturday, potentially ruining Northampton’s hopes of a playoff spot.



Worcester vs Saracens (Saturday, 16:00 BST)

Despite struggling earlier in the campaign, Worcester have been able to secure their place in the Premiership for next season with some time left to spare as they have continued to impress. Eight victories in 21 matches means they have picked up 41 points and boast an 11 point gap between themselves and Newcastle at the bottom, while they are a point above Leicester in 11th at this stage of the season. While the mood will be one of celebration on Saturday, they still have a job to do in their last game, with Saracens the visitors for the regular season’s finale. Sarries still hold onto their hopes of clinching top spot for the season as they are only four points short of Exeter at the top of the standings. 16 wins in 21 is an impressive record, and they come into this one in confident mood after hammering Exeter 38-7 last time out before they defeated Leinster 20-10 in the European Champions Cup final. This means they are still very much in the running for a trophy double this year as they have continued to dominate. A home semi-final is secured for Sarries, but they will want to finish at the top of the standings to ensure they face one of Northampton or Harlequins, leaving Exeter to face Gloucester instead. In order to do this, they need to hope Exeter do not win their final match, but the reigning-champions will not be focussing too much on what is going on across the rest of England, instead trying to score as many points as possible against a stubborn Worcester outfit. The last five matches between the pair has seen Sarries win every time, while their smallest margin of victory in this time is eight points, meaning we are confident they can win with a two point handicap. 



Sale vs Gloucester (Saturday, 16:00 BST)

Sale have looked fairly good this season as they have ensured they have maintained their Premiership status following a strong campaign in England’s top league. 10 wins in 21 matches have come along with two draws and nine defeats, with their 50 point haul meaning they are 20 clear of Newcastle at the bottom of the table. While their season has been good, they find themselves six point short of Northampton in fourth, with a place in the playoffs out of their reach, which is something they will look to rectify next year. For Gloucester, this is a chance to swell their bubbling confidence and go into the playoffs on the back of another win. 13 victories has helped the side onto 66 points, meaning they are 10 short of Sarries in second but, more importantly, they are 10 clear of Northampton in fourth, with Gloucester some way above of the battle for the final playoff spot. This one will see Sale desperate to go out on a high, but we think that Gloucester will still completely have their minds on rugby as they have at least one more game to play after the regular season ends. Gloucester are currently a rather tasty 4/1 to win this match, and with six wins in their last nine against Sale, we are backing the away side to pick up another triumph. 



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