- What: Sale Sharks vs Bristol Bears – Week 5 England Premiership
- When: Saturday, November 11th, 9:30 AM EST
- Where: Ashton Gate, Bristol, UK
England Premiership Rugby heads into Week 5, with a big matchup on the schedule on Saturday between the Sale Sharks and the Bristol Bears, who are both off to good starts to begin the season. The kick-off is scheduled for 9:30 AM EST at Ashton Gate, the home of Bristol. The hosts are coming off a pair of losses to Exeter and Harlequins and will be looking to get back on track here. As for Sale, they took down Gloucester last time out. Continue reading for the Sale vs Bristol picks.
Sale vs Bristol Odds
Sale, who is off to a blistering 3-1 start, is a deserving favorite with -130 moneyline odds to come out victorious Saturday on the road. Bristol comes back at +100. Sale has won two of the last three meetings with Bristol, outscoring them 61-40 in the process. The other matchup ended 43-19 in favor of the Bears.
Sale in Good Form
The Sharks are playing very well so far, beating Northampton, Leicester, and Gloucester. A 43-0 defeat to Exeter in Week 3 was humbling but Sale managed to respond against Gloucester at home. The Sharks had four tries in this contest and two conversions, playing a very clean game of rugby here. They also had 56% of the possession compared to just 44% for their opponents. Arron Reed set the tone with two first-half tries for his squad while Ben Curry and Agustin Creevy also got in on the action. Sale flourished in the wet conditions and ultimately cruised to the finish line.
Gus Warr made his presence felt on both ends of the pitch in this game with several dangerous box kicks while coming up with a key stop to prevent Gloucester from scoring a try. Warr will surely be an important part of how Saturday’s matchup turns out too, both offensively and defensively.
Sale is just two points off the top of the table but does have a -17 point differential, much in part to the embarrassing Exeter game. Other than that, this team has looked rather solid. Sale will be getting several players back from World Cup duty for this fixture, including Tom Curry. Luke Cowan-Dickle also looks set to return from injury for the Sharks, who are 6-1 in their last seven games against Bristol. They’re also seeking to win back-to-back games at Ashton Gate for the first time ever.
Bristol Needs a Win Badly
This is a brutal spell for the Bears, who fell to Harlequins by a score of 23-21 and then to Exeter, 29-20. The only positive takeaway is that Bristol kept both losses somewhat close. Rich Lane was brilliant against Exeter as he notched three tries, but it wasn’t enough to handle the Chiefs’ electric offense, who had four different players register tries while Henry Slade also scored nine points with his boot.
The Bears were dominated when it came to possession, with Exeter having the ball 72% of the time. They’re lucky this contest didn’t end a lot more lopsided. The reality is that it can’t be just Lane doing the scoring either. Others must step up as well. A perfect example is the Chiefs, who possess a well-rounded attack with tons of weapons.
Prior to these two losses, however, Bristol did beat Leicester and Northampton and tend to typically play well at Ashton Gate, their home stadium. There’s still tons of time left in the season to turn things around too, sitting in sixth place at the moment with 10 points and only five off the top. The Bears have a +6 point differential as well, which is better than Sale, for what it’s worth.
Sale vs Bristol Picks
The home atmosphere is everything in any sport and with Bristol in desperate need of the full points, I do expect them to turn up and produce the goods at Ashton Gate on Saturday. Take the underdog at favorable +100 odds to get it done and move a game above .500 for the time being.
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