Free-running Newcastle equipped to stay on Bath's tail
Falcons look too easily dismissed
BT Sport 3, 3pm Saturday
Bath and Newcastle put their unbeaten records on the line in this round-three clash at the Rec and the visiting Falcons appear to have been too easily dismissed by bookmakers who offer them a double-figure handicap start.
Newcastle sneaked a one-point victory in an extraordinary Premiership encounter, when the Falcons scorched to a 19-0 lead inside 20 minutes then had to withstand a fightback to edge it 33-32.
The line-ups will be much changed for this Anglo-Welsh encounter but the visitors still have a strong side out, with experienced playmakers Alex Tait and Joel Hodgson at 15 and ten.
They may struggle a little up front, where Bath look to pack more power, but Newcastle have played with a lot of width and ambition in this tournament, winning 53-41 at Wasps and overpowering Cardiff 57-0 at home.
Rain is expected to clear by the afternoon and conditions should allow the Falcons to open the game up and avoid being dragged into a close-quarters battle.
While Newcastle's pool wins have been spectacular, with two try-bonus points, Bath have been more workmanlike, edging Premiership bottom side London Irish 26-22 and seeing off Leicester 33-31 at home. Newcastle have the firepower to at least keep this one close.
There are big handicaps in some of today's Anglo-Welsh Cup contests, but the fixture between Worcester and Exeter catches the eye.
Second-bottom Worcester have included frontline players Donncha O'Callaghan, Francois Hougaard, David Denton and Josh Adams among others in their line-up while Premiership champions the Chiefs, who have a perfect ten points from two outings in this tournament, have gone with a young side and are seven-point underdogs.
2pts 10-11 bet365
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