Home team Away Team

Bath

  • Batty,
    Penalty goals: Ford (2),
11 - 12

Sale Sharks


  • Penalty goals: Cipriani (4),

Aviva Premiership: Bath v Sale Sharks preview

Last updated: 28th March 2014  

Andrei Ostrikov for Sale Sharks

Andrei Ostrikov: replaces Jonathan Mills in only change to Sale starting XV

Nick Abendanon Bath

Nick Abendanon: 200th appearance for Bath

Related links

News

Preview

Report

Teams

Also see

Bath will be looking to halt Sale's late push for a place in the Aviva Premiership play-offs at the Recreation Ground on Friday night.

Victory over the Sharks would cement third place for Mike Ford's team and strengthen the claim of old rivals Leicester to a spot in the play-offs.

With Sale and Harlequins the only teams capable of displacing Friday's combatants, Bath have the opportunity to all but remove them from contention.

"This is a huge game for both teams," said Bath head coach Ford.

"A win for us would see make us a bit more secure in the top four, while for Sale it would narrow the gap and potentially see them break into the play-off spaces.

"Sale looked very good against Northampton last weekend. They beat a team that have been in the top two all season and will be full of confidence from that win.

"They're probably one of the most underrated sides in the Premiership and when they hit a run of form they can be very dangerous."

Team news

Bath make just one change to the team that thumped London Irish 44-23 with Guy Mercer replacing the injured Francois Louw at openside. Full-back Nick Abendanon makes his 200th appearance for the club.

Sale swept aside Northampton 19-6 last Saturday, despite the presence of Saints' star-studded international contingent, to register a third successive Premiership win.

Director of rugby Steve Diamond, who has replaced lock Jonathan Mills with Andrei Ostrikov, wants to see that form continue against Bath.

"This time last year we were scrapping for our lives. Now we are comfortably mid table," Diamond said.

"We might be suffering from a little bit of altitude sickness for a couple of weeks, but we have Bath to come, as well as Quins, Exeter and Leicester, who are all big sides.

"If we don't have the same energy and attitude in those games then we won't win them, if we do we may well win them."

Bath: 15 Abendanon, 14 Watson, 13 Devoto, 12 Eastmond, 11 Rokoduguni, 10 Ford, 9 Stringer; 1 James, 2 Batty, 3 Wilson, 4 Hooper, 5 Attwood, 6 Garvey, 7 Mercer, 8 Houston

Replacements: 16 Dunn, 17 Catt, 18 Perenise, 19 Day, 20 Fearns, 21 Young, 22 Henson, 23 Agulla

Sale: 15 Arscott, 14 Brady, 13 Leota, 12 Tuitupou, 11 Cueto, 10 Cipriani, 9 Peel; 1 Lewis-Roberts, 2 Jones, 3 Cobilas, 4 Ostrikov, 5 Paterson, 6 Braid, 7 Seymour, 8 Gaskell

Replacements: 16 Croall, 17 Harrison, 18 Thomas, 19 Mills, 20 Easter, 21 Cliff, 22 Macleod, 23 Miller

SkyBet
Click here for more betting
Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Sunday 23rd November
Aviva Premiership
13:00Saracens vs Northampton
15:15London Welsh vs Leicester Tigers
Friday 28th November
19:45Bath vs Harlequins
Saturday 29th November
15:00Leicester vs Wasps
16:30Exeter vs Saracens
Sunday 30th November
13:00London Irish vs Gloucester
14:30London Welsh vs Northampton
15:15Newcastle vs Sale
Saturday 20th December
14:00Sale vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Bath
15:00Saracens vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Newcastle
15:00Northampton vs Leicester
Sunday 21st December
14:00Wasps vs London Irish
Friday 26th December
15:00London Irish vs London Welsh
Saturday 27th December
14:00Sale vs Leicester
15:00Bath vs Exeter
15:00Gloucester vs Wasps
15:00Harlequins vs Northampton
15:00Newcastle vs Saracens
Saturday 3rd January
15:00Exeter vs Gloucester
15:00Saracens vs London Irish
15:00Leicester vs Bath
15:00Northampton vs Newcastle
Sunday 4th January
14:00Wasps vs Sale

Experts & Blogs

Phil Edwards

Phil Edwards

Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com