Written: 26th August 2020
There’s no rest for the wicked as the return of the Gallagher Premiership means matches every few days for Leicester Tigers. As you might expect, that means the entire squad need to play their part as rotation becomes key to rest and recuperate to the fullest extent. Unfortunately, a much-changed Leicester side fell to defeat against Bath on Saturday by a 38-16 scoreline.
Looking back to both before and after the break in the season, the form has not been great for Leicester Tigers, and the club have not lost four Gallagher Premiership matches in a row since back in the 2017-18 season. On paper, this looks like a good fixture to end that run and get back to winning ways though, as it’s a home game against another side woefully out of form. This is due to the fact that London Irish have lost four in a row, and have a worse points difference than Leicester, even though they’re higher in the table.
This is actually the first midweek Premiership fixture at Welford Road for 12 years, but it goes without saying that this has been no ordinary season.
Leicester Tigers v London Irish
26th August 2020
Where: Welford Road
When: Kick Off 6:00pm
Referee: Luke Pearce (100th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Andrew Jackson & Wayne Falla
TMO: Sean Davey
In terms of how the Tigers are going to line up for the game, Head Coach Steve Borthwick has gone with the rotation route, likely due to both the result and the extremely quick turnaround between matches. Borthwick has decided to make 14 changes, with Tom Youngs and Ellis Genge returning to the side, along with Dan Cole, Ben Youngs and George Ford. It’s also a welcome Tigers debut for Nemandi Nadolo.
Leicester Tigers Lineup: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 David Williams, 13 Jaco Taute, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford (vc), 9 Ben Youngs, 1 Ellis Genge, 2 Tom Youngs ©, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Harry Wells, 5 Calum Green, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Jordan Taufua
Replacements: 16 Charlie Clare, 17 Nephi Leatigaga, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 George Martin, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Ben White, 22 Zack Henry, 23 Jordan Olowofela
London Irish Lineup: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Tom Parton, 13 Curtis Rona, 12 Terrence Hepetema, 11 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben Meehan; 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Motu Matu’u, 3 Sekope Kepu, 4 George Nott, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Ben Donnell, 7 Blair Cowan (c), 8 Albert Tuisue.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cornish, 17 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 18 Lovejoy Chawatama, 19 Jack Cooke, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Rory Brand, 22 Jacob Atkins, 23 Ross Neal.
LeoVegas were delighted to speak to Leicester Tigers player George Worth ahead of Wednesday’s game at home to London Irish. Here is what he had to say:
LV: What have you made of playing behind closed doors so far?
GW: When you notice it most is probably before the game. That’s when you can usually feel the atmosphere building as you’re warming up. Sometimes, when you’re playing, you get so immersed in the game you can almost forget there is a crowd. But they obviously give you that pick-me-up when they get behind you during a match. You do potentially have create a bit more energy yourself, but you’re still playing for Leicester Tigers. There’s plenty to get energy from.
LV: What’s been the reaction to the performance against Bath?
GW: Saturday it was definitely tough. It was always going to be when they came with a fully-loaded side and we had an inexperienced side, but there’s definitely areas to work on both individually and as a team. Steve made it very clear that the first and main thing to get out of the game was to win it. But we also listed a few other things about being proud of our performance and building what we’d started against Exeter. Success isn’t just about winning at this point. Although it’s very, very important to all of us – we’re here to win – success is also about building on what we’ve done and trying to show what we’ve been doing in training. These are all different factors that contribute to success.
LV: There’s a short turnaround before Wednesday’s game against London Irish – what’s the mood like in the camp?
GW: Putting the team out we did [against Bath] then puts a lot of importance on this mid-week performance and result, really. But we’re looking forward to it, whoever’s picked, and whoever it is, we’re all chomping at the bit to get some points after this resumption to the season.
As a traditional powerhouse of the Premiership, Leicester Tigers have a good record against London Irish overall. Although Irish did beat the Tigers 36-11 in the clash earlier this season (way back in November at the Madejski Stadium), Leicester had won the previous 6 in a row in all competitions. The record at Welford Road is particularly stellar, as London Irish have only won twice here since 1923, the last of which was back in 2014.
Overall, Tigers have won 54 times as opposed to Irish’s 10 in 65 clashes, with just the one draw.
In terms of the Leicester Tigers betting odds for the match, Leicester Tigers go into the match as big favourites to claim the victory on home soil.
The Regular Time Market has the “Dead Heat” rule applied, which has online sports betting odds divided by 2 in case of a draw.
The Regular Time 3-Way market has a separate option for the draw, which is at 22/1.
We also offer handicap markets for the match too.
This market means that Leicester Tigers will theoretically begin the game with a 16.5 point disadvantage, and this bet would pay out as a winner if the Tigers win the game by 17 points or more.
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*All odds correct at the time of writing.