Top-flight rugby in England returns this weekend, and there is still a huge amount to be decided at both ends of the standings. There will be a new name on the trophy this season after Saracens were relegated with an immediate effect after breaching the salary cap. But, which side will be in pole position to seize control?
Race For The Playoffs
There are nine rounds of games remaining in the Premiership this season, and there are a host of teams that will still believe that they have a chance of securing their place. Realistically, it looks like it will be a straight fight between Wasps and Bath to fight for a place in the top four of the standings. Bath have won seven of their games this season, with Wasps having won on six occasions. The try bonus points have been a huge benefit to Wasps, as they have scored six and claimed three losing bonus points. In comparison, Bath have won just one try bonus and one losing bonus.
However, there is a layer of unpredictability around the Premiership when it returns, which could mean that Wasps may have their sights on achieving an unlikely feat and winning the championship for the first time since 2008. There is still quality in their side, and that was evident as they reached the final in 2017. BetXChange currently prices Wasps at 11.25 to win the Premiership.
Due to the unpredictability that comes with this season, Harlequins and London Irish may still feel that they have an outside chance, but it is hard to look past Wasps and Bath for a team that could potentially break into the top-four party.
Exeter In Poll Position To Win The Title?
It would certainly appear as though it is Exeter’s championship to lose this season, as they have been by far and away the leading side in the Premier League. They have picked up a losing bonus on all four times that they have been beaten this season, and they have scored more points that anyone else in the league. Their nine wins is also more than anybody else in the standings, and they look certain to at least get home advantage in the playoffs.
It would be a huge success for Exeter as they haven’t won this championship for three years, and haven’t had much joy in the playoffs as they have lost to the Saracens on three occasions. BetXChange has Exeter as the favourites at 0.70.
Of course, that will not be the case this season with Saracens condemned to bottom of the league standings, and the only side that could get in their way is Sale. It has been ever longer since they last won this championship, as they have endured a 14-year wait.
They shouldn’t be ruled out just yet, as they have quality around the pitch with stars such as Faf de Klerk and Tom Curry to call upon. Their chances have been further improved with the arrival of Manu Tuilagi. The strength is certainly there, and in the playoffs, there price of 2.50 with BetXChange could be a lucrative one.