Bristol vs Harlequins
Competition: Aviva Premiership Rugby
Date: 10 February 2017
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
Having finally got themselves off of their duck, now with two wins under their belt, Bristol will be eyeing Harlequins who have been giant killers this season, as a potential scalp because there are a few key men missing to Six Nations duty for the London-based side.
The South-West side may have gotten a win or two, but in all reality they have been very poor this season. In 13 games they have won just two games, and lost 11, for their 13 points. The only real race they are in is to try and get above Worcester Warriors who also have two wins, but also two draws, and a lot less bonus points. Bristol are currently one point behind the Warriors and every point will count for them here on out. Quins are a potential target as they do have a few players on duty with England, but it will not be a simple game by any stretch of the imagination for Bristol even if they are at home.
Quins in the meantime find their battle right in the middle of the log, as they are packed in around five teams all within four points of each other. Like many teams who have encountered Bristol this year, Harlequins will be thinking this is their shot at an easy five points, but circumstances have changed. Firstly, Bristol are off their duck and have won two of their last three games, so it is not a game that should be taken lightly. Also, Harlequins are without six frontline English players in Marland Yarde, ike Brown, Danny Care, Jack Clifford, Kyle Sinckler and Joe Marler, so those absentees will have an effect as they are in key positions.
Bristol vs Harlequins: Head-to-Head Stats
Over the years in the Premiership, there have been 17 encounters between these teams and through it all, Bristol have done better than expected. Harlequins still hold the advantage with 10 wins, but the team from the South West has picked up seven too.
Bristol vs Harlequins: Prediction
Bristol are best placed for a win against a team like Harlequins who they would never think they even had a chance of competing with earlier in the season. Unfortunately, Bristol at their best is still not a threatening prospect, and even Quins missing six internationals still has the quality to put them away. Bristol will score one or two, but their defence will be their downfall as Quins win it.
Bristol vs Harlequins: Tips
While Quins will grind to a win, there is every chance for a breakaway try or two from the likes of Tom Varndell and Francois Hougaard for Bristol.