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Aviva Premiership match preview: Sale Sharks v Bath
- Diamond praises tough Sharks
- Irish pack delights Smith
- Narrow loss frustrates Young
- Jones rouses beaten Welsh
- McCall salutes England stars
- Saracens v Harlequins: Teams
- Exeter v Leicester: Teams
- Gloucester v L Welsh: Teams
- London Irish v Worcester:Teams
- Gloucester v Harlequins: Teams
- Wasps v Northampton: Teams
- Sale boost survival hopes
- Burns too hot for Welsh
- Draw suits strugglers
- Tigers hunt down Chiefs
- Sarries charge over Quins
- Irish ease relegation fears
- Wasps hurt by Saints
Sale Sharks will be eager to return to winning ways in Friday evening's Aviva Premiership game against Bath.
The relegation-threatened club have lost their last two league games to Harlequins and Leicester.
In contrast Bath have lost only one of their last four Premiership games (Northampton away by a 25-23 scoreline), though have not won on the road since the opening round of the campaign, when they defeated Worcester.
The Sharks have made a number of alterations to the line-up that started the 32-14 defeat to Harlequins in the LV= Cup final last time out, including dropping Danny Cipriani to the bench.
Nick Macleod takes over in the number 10 jersey, meaning a recall for Cameron Shepherd at full-back, with Dwayne Peel coming in at scrum-half.
Sammy Tiutupou and Mark Cueto are named in the starting XV while James Gaskell switches to lock having begun the game against Quins in the back row.
The visitors have made four changes to the side that faced Harlequins two weeks ago, with all their alterations coming in the pack.
Test props Paul James and David Wilson return to the front row following the culmination of the Six Nations, where they are joined by another international in hooker Rob Webber who comes back into the starting line-up.
Club captain Stuart Hooper also returns, with Dominic Day moving to the bench. Hooper partners Dave Attwood, who it was announced this week had extended his contract with the club, in the second row.
The abrasive pairing of Francois Louw and Carl Fearns continue on the flanks, with Ben Skirving again taking his place at the base of the scrum.
Peter Stringer, whose loan deal with Bath will now run until the end of the season, and Tom Heathcote continue to build their half-back partnership, with the backline unchanged.
Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Charlie Amesbury, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Andy Powell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 James Gaskell, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Al Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Kearnan Myall, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Richie Vernon.
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Michael Classens, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com