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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Hard to trust inconsistent Gloucester against sinking Bath

Back-rower Lewis Ludlow can shine in derby clash

Gloucester flanker Lewis Ludlow has three tries to his name this season
1 of 1

Aviva Premiership
Channel 5 & BT Sport 2, 3pm Saturday

Bath are limping towards the end of the season on a run of four straight defeats and they are 4-1 shots to avenge their home loss in the West Country derby earlier in the season.

Hosts Gloucester have more to play for as there's still a top-six finish to secure and a playoff spot isn't out of the question.

But they also have eyes on next month's European Challenge Cup final against Cardiff - the Cherry & Whites are 8-11 to lift the trophy and guarantee Champions Cup rugby next season.

They have impressed at times, such as in their latest Premiership outing against an admittedly off-colour Harlequins side, which they won 37-9.

But consistency has been lacking and they haven't recorded back-to-back league wins since December.

Teams generally lift themselves for their final home game of the season, and given their final regular-season match is at powerhouse Saracens, that looks the time when they might take their foot off the gas.

It's still hard to be confident about an eight-point handicap though, especially with rain forecast throughout the day, and the tryscorer markets might offer the best avenue.

Bath's scoring rate has slowed in recent weeks - they were shut out by Sarries in their last match and have scored four in as many matches - although Taulupe Faletau looks a big price at 8-1 with Sky Bet.

But in the opposing back row Lewis Ludlow could be worth chancing. He has scored three tries this season, two in his last six matches, and if conditions are difficult both teams may prefer to keep the ball among the forwards rather than take it wide.

L Ludlow to score a try
1pt 4-1 BoyleSports, Paddy Power

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Teams generally lift themselves for their final home game of the season
E.W. Terms
Sky bet