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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Chiefs have scoring power to claim another scalp

Quins could be hurt by lack of clinical edge

Exeter haven't tasted Premiership defeat since October
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Harlequins v Exeter
BT Sport 1, 7.45pm Friday

There are three rounds of matches left in the Premiership and this battle at the Stoop could prove crucial to both teams' final placings.

Harlequins occupy the sixth and final European Champions Cup qualifying berth but are level on points with seventh-placed Northampton, whom they visit on the final day.

Exeter, meanwhile, are guaranteed a playoff spot but champions Saracens are breathing down their necks, just one point behind them in the chase for a home semi-final.

The Chiefs famously won this fixture on the final day of last season 62-24, while they also came out on top in the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final at Sandy Park a month ago.

With their target of a top-six finish at stake and no need to hold anything in reserve for the playoffs, Quins have named a strong team with just three changes to the pack from last week's defeat to Saracens.

Among those switches, England prop Kyle Sinckler starts while tigerish openside Luke Wallace returns after a three-month layoff.

Quins could not find a way through the suffocating Sarries defence at Wembley in that 40-19 reverse, but although they are not the only side to suffer that fate, they know they will need to make more of their possession in this showdown.

Exeter have won their last five league outings since a 35-35 draw at home to table-toppers Wasps, and they have racked up 186 points in that sequence, an average of more than 37 per game.

They haven't lost in the league since being edged out at home by Bath at the end of October - as well as the draw with Wasps they also held Saracens 13-13 - and that kind of form suggests Quins will have to shift up several gears.

Exeter were shaky at times in their 38-34 victory over bottom side Bristol last week, and in their 30-25 home win over Sale before that, but they were clinical in winning 34-15 at Leicester and if they can show that same focus on the road they can claim the spoils.

Glasgow’s faint mathematical chance of reaching the playoffs could be ended by other results this weekend but that shouldn’t stop them romping to an easy victory over Zebre at Scotstoun (BBC Alba, 7.35pm).

Both clubs have made significant changes as the campaign nears an end and are without some big-name internationals. Zebre are aiming for a historic third successive Pro12 victory but a 30-point handicap gives a pretty strong indication of how this is expected to pan out. 

2pts Evs Betfair, BoyleSports, Paddy Power

Exeter have won their last five league outings since a 35-35 draw at home to table-toppers Wasps, and they have racked up 186 points in that sequence
E.W. Terms
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