Aviva Premiership Venue: Ricoh Arena Date: Saturday, 23 December Kick-off: 15:00 GMTCoverage: Live coverage on BBC local radio and on the BBC Sport websiteInjury-hit Wasps make changes as they host second-placed Gloucester, who start the day three points better off.Josh Bassett is back on the left wing, while Guy Thompson returns to the 23 and Joe Simpson comes in for Gloucester old boy Dan Robson at scrum-half. Gloucester give a first start of the season to full-back Tom Marshall.
The Cherry and Whites also make a further seven changes, with Paddy McAllister, James Hanson and John Afoa coming in to the front row.Rugby league convert Kyle Eastmond continues at inside centre for fifth-placed Wasps after replacing the injured Jimmy Gopperth a few minutes into last weekend’s European Champions Cup win over La Rochelle.Gopperth and England duo Elliot Daly and Nathan Hughes, who is replaced by on-loan South African Nizaam Carr, are all expected to be out for three months.Wasps director of rugby Dai Young:”Gloucester have been excellent this season. They close you down fast and force a lot of mistakes. Their defence is probably their biggest threat as their line speed is outstanding.”A lot of the tries they’ve scored have come from turnovers generated by their defensive efforts, so we know we’re going to have to be really good with the ball and can’t push things too early. “They’ve also got a really good back three that will cause problems and they’re good set-piece wise. They’re not where they are in the league by accident. We’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann told BBC Radio Gloucestershire:”I am happy that we have got a bit of momentum, but we haven’t achieved anything yet.”We don’t focus on the table. This is a massive game and the focus is on where we must improve.”If you are chasing the pack, you’ve got a different pressure to being on the top. If you’re doing well, teams want to knock you off.”TeamsWasps: Le Roux; Wade, De Jongh, Eastmond, Bassett; Cipriani, Simpson; McIntyre, Cruse, Moore, Launchbury (capt), Gaskell, Willis, Young, Carr.Replacements: Johnson, Harris, Cooper-Woolley, Myall, Thompson, Robson, Miller, Lovobalavu.Gloucester: Marshall; Sharples, Twelvetrees, Atkinson, Thorley; Burns, Heinz (capt); McAllister, Hanson, Afoa; Savage, Slater; Polledri, Ludlow, Ackermann.Replacements: Hibbard, Orr, Hohneck, Thrush, Clarke, Vellacott, Williams, Trinder.