Glasgow Warriors v Zebre match preview
New boys Zebre have had a torrid start to the season, conceding 108 points and scoring just 33 of their own.
The home side Glasgow will be confident of making it two wins in a row at the Scotstoun Stadium on Friday evening, but a measure of caution should be applied. With the amount of changes Gregor Townsend has made to his team, there is a real danger that this could supply the visiting Italians with the foothold they need to cause an upset.
Looking at the players coming into the Glasgow side, they are talented replacements, but the concern could be that the unit of players won’t have had a chance to gel properly. This could be a particular concern for new signings prop Fainga’anuku, scrum half Matawalu and no.8 Strauss who should all make their first appearance. Developing and rotating the squad is a must in the Rabo Direct PRO12 but coming off the back of two wins, Glasgow will hope these changes, on the bench or otherwise, won’t disrupt their momentum.
Zebre themselves are sending over a team full of youngsters yet there is a core of experience in the side through the likes of Garcia, Bergamasco and Giazzon that should help them perform. One of Zebre’s main aims has to be an improved defensive display, and after their players have had a week extra to prepare for this match, they should be raring to go.
Glasgow’s backline is full of up and coming young talented players in the guise of Sean Kennedy, Bryan McGuigan and Fraser Thompson, where combined with more experienced players in Morrison, Jackson and DTH van der Merwe they will be looking to impress.
Comparing the two squads Glasgow, as the home side and with the greater experienced squad depth, go into this match as favourite. Zebre will be hit hard by the injuries to Bortalami and Perugini, and with them fielding a slightly developmental side themselves, the odds are greatly in Glasgow’s favour.
Thirteen changes, including numerous first time starts, is a risk, but it will be one Glasgow will reap the benefits of in terms of squad depth and experience, should they finish on the right side of the scoreboard.
Kick Off: 7.35pm
Referee: Leighton Hodges
Glasgow: F Thomson, T Seymour, B McGuigan, G Morrison, DTH van der Merwe, R Jackson, S Kennedy, G Reid, F Gillies, M Cusack, T Ryder, T Swinson, A Macdonald, Chris Fusaro (capt), J Strauss.
Replacements: D Hall, O Fainga’anuku, M Low, J Eddie, R Wilson, N Matawalu, P Horne, S Hogg
Zebra: Daniel Halangahu, Leonardo Sarto, Matteo Pratichetti, Gonzalo Garcia (cap), Sinoti Sinoti, Luciano Orquera, Alberto Chillon, Andries Van Schalkwyk, Mauro Bergamasco, Filippo Cristiano, Michael van Vuren, Quintin Geldenhuys, Luca Redolfini, Davide Giazzon, Matias Aguero
Replacements: Andrea Manici, Carlo Fazzari, Andrea De Marchi, Emiliano Caffini, Nicola Belardo, Luca Martinelli, Paolo Buso, Samuele Pace