The heavyweight Aviva Premiership clash between Bath and Leicester at The Rec on Saturday afternoon looks set to be a tight encounter. Paddy Power bookmakers have little to choose between the two sides in the betting, with play-off chasing Bath marginal favourites at 4/5 and table topping Leicester priced evens, with the unlikely draw a slightly tempting 20/1.
Fifth placed Bath are pushing hard for a play-off place and look well set to reach that top four with five rounds of matches left and games in hand on the sides above them. They have been on a fine run of form of late, winning five in a row before a 34-22 defeat to bitter rivals Gloucester recently ended that streak. They have won their last four at The Rec and are desperate to extend that to five against Leicester.
They had gone eight games without beating Leicester in all competitions before they finally beat them 26-12 in the Anglo Welsh Cup last month. Both sides were missing their Six Nations stars for that match but most of them return this weekend and Bath will welcome back the influential figure of Matt Banahan. The England international could find tries hard to come by on Saturday though as the last two Premiership fixtures between these two has failed to see a single try scored and no try being scored this weekend is extremely tempting at 17/1 in the betting with Paddy Power.
The last Premiership fixture between the two teams was dominated by the boot as Leicester's Toby Flood kicked six penalties and a drop goal to give the Tigers a 21-15 win at Welford Road in October. Flood returns to the Leicester side this weekend, as do fellow Six Nations champions Ben Youngs, Dan Cole and Tom Croft. Martin Castrogiovanni and Louis Deacon miss out however.
Leicester are feeling the pressure at the top of the table as their defeat to Saracens recently saw Saracens close the gap to just two points. The Tigers may be unbeaten away from home since October but they have failed to win at The Rec since March 2006 and a double result of a half time and full time Bath win is tempting at 7/5 with PaddyPower.com.
We fancy Bath could edge this encounter between the only two sides who have both reached the Premiership semi-finals in each of the past three seasons. The winning margin of 1-5 points to Bath is available at 4/1 in the betting, while Bath are available at 10/11 in the handicap betting with a handicap of -1 points which shows just how close a match could be in store.
Bath v Leicester Tips
Tip #1: No try scored in the match @ 17/1 with PaddyPower.com
Tip #2: Bath to win by 1-5 points @ 4/1 with PaddyPower.com
Tip #3: Double result of a half time and full time Bath win @ 7/5 with PaddyPower.com
10/11 Bath -1
10/11 Leicester +1
Winning Margin Odds
4/1 Bath by 1-5 points
9/2 Bath by 6-10 points
15/2 Bath by 11-15 points
10/1 Bath by 16-20 points
4/1 Leicester by 1-5 points
5/1 Leicester by 6-10 points
8/1 Leicester by 11-15 points
12/1 Leicester by 16-20 points
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com, who provide a variety of betting markets for this match and all the weekend's Aviva Premiership fixtures.
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