Worcester @ Harlequins
Both teams are far from form, with Harlequins in particular coming off of two disappointing defeats in Europe. Quite why they are so inconsistent is a mystery when you consider the amount of top quality international talent that they have available, Mike Brown, Danny Care, Joe Marler, Chris Robshaw and Jamie Roberts to name a few. Worcester are still sitting at the bottom of the table without a win and have recently had the news that their Director of Rugby, Gary Gold, will be leaving to coach the US national team.
Prediction: Worcester, while bottom of the league, are not out of their depth at Premiership level and have the ability to turnover Harlequins in London. Furthermore, Harlequins have the ability to lose at home to the only team without a victory. I suspect that won’t happen as Quins tend to follow poor performances with good ones and vice-versa, so for that reason I’ll predict a comfortable win.
London Irish @ Saracens
Saracens are rising to the top once more and will be buoyed by the news that Lozowski and Spencer, two talented players rumored to be moving elsewhere, have re-signed. Nick Isikwe continues to establish himself while Calum Clark is quietly going about his work in the back row for his new club. Enormous lock Will Skelton has returned to Saracens, adding to the embarrassment of riches that they already had in the second row. There is a notable name in the London Irish team sheet as highly-rated youngster Joe Cokanasiga starts on the wing, while tighthead prop Petrus Du Plessis returns to his former club.
Prediction: Saracens are hitting form and their performances in the Champions Cup have put them amongst the favorites once more. I cannot see anything but a dominant victory at home against London Irish.
Leicester Tigers @ Newcastle Falcons
This could be a cracking game and I might even watch the full-replay before the result gets ruined. Leicester were very impressive in Europe, losing narrowly to a top class Racing 92 team before hammering Castres. Newcastle on the other hand recorded two victories against the Dragons and Bordeaux in the Challenge Cup. The team sheets make for juicy reading with Vereki Goneva and Toby Flood facing off against the club that they made such an impression for. Sunday will also see the Tait brothers, Matthew and Alex, face off against each other for Leicester and Newcastle respectively.
Prediction: Leicester have looked a very good team recently, but they are missing Matt Toomoa who has been one of their most important players at inside centre. Instead George Ford will line up with Matthew Tait outside him, a player who is more comfortable in the wider channels. It is a tough game to call but this, along with home advantage tips it in Newcastle’s favor for me. They will want to remind the league that they are a force to be reckoned with after two weeks out of the spotlight in the Challenge Cup.