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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Gurley geared to lead the Rams charge

Running back has started season in fine fettle

Rams running back Todd Gurley
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Sky Sports Action, 1.25am Thursday night

Late-night NFL fans will probably be able to stay up on Thursdays this season to watch plenty of games which could have a big bearing on divisional titles and playoff places.

However, the week-three clash between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers is unlikely to be one of them.

The two NFC West rivals will be looking to avoid finishing bottom of a division which also includes Arizona and Seattle. Their ambitions for this season appear genuinely that modest.

For San Francisco, the season represents a rebuilding plan under new head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was the brains behind the formidable Atlanta offence that came so close to grabbing Super Bowl glory in February.

However, with the 49ers hotly tipped to prize Kirk Cousins from Washington when he becomes a free agent next season, they look likely to use this term as an opportunity to blood some youngsters.

While a 12-9 defeat at Seattle last week was an eye-catching scoreline, they have not scored a touchdown in either of their opening two matches - they were beaten 23-3 at home by Carolina in week one - and are 6-1 to draw another blank.

The Rams have got off to a decent start, posting a 46-9 win over Indianapolis in the opening week before falling to a seven-point defeat to Washington.

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NFL Power rankings

New coach Sean McVay appears to have got a tune out of quarterback Jared Goff, who had difficulty adjusting to life in the NFL as the number-one draft pick under Jeff Fisher.

He looks a lot more comfortable, but the star of the offence remains running back Todd Gurley, who has started the season in fine fashion with a touchdown in both of the Rams' encounters.

The 49ers conceded more rushing touchdowns than any other team in the league last season and it would be no surprise if the 2015 offensive rookie of the year continued that run.

T Gurley to score a touchdown
2pts 11-8 bet365

Team news
LA Rams
Tight end Gerard Everett has been struggling with a thigh injury.

San Francisco
Linebacker Reuben Foster has an ankle injury while safety Eric Reed has been dealing with a knee problem

Key stat
The points total has gone under in five of the Rams' last six matches in San Francisco.

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New coach Sean McVay appears to have got a tune out of quarterback Jared Goff, who had difficulty adjusting to life in the NFL
E.W. Terms
Sky bet