Bristol vs Northampton Saints Prediction: Saints to secure the spoils

 | March 21 | 

3 mins read

gallagher premiership rugby union trophy scaled

After the thrills and spills of the 2024 Six Nations the focus returns to domestic matters, as Northampton Saints look to continue their push towards the title when they travel to Bristol Bears on Friday night.

The Saints have been the standout team in the Premiership across the first 12 rounds and lead second-placed Harlequins by seven points going into this week’s fixtures.

Bristol’s position of eighth in the table does not look pretty, but they are only six points behind fourth-placed Saracens going into Friday’s clash with the Saints.

With England stars still working their way back into club duty, a tight encounter looks to be on the cards for this one at Ashton Gate.

Bristol vs Northampton Saints Tips

  • Northampton to win @ 13/10  
  • First half winner - Bristol @ 5/6  

Team news

Starting with the hosts, Yann Thomas is set to make his first Premiership appearance of the season at loosehead prop, while there’s a change in the backline with Noah Heward moving to full-back and Siva Naulago on the wing.

International quality returns on the bench, with England’s Ellis Genge and Max Malins ready to have an impact later on in the contest.

Jake Woolmore, Harry Thacker, Will Capon, Josh Caulfield, Chris Vui, Santiago Grondona, Callum Sheedy, Virimi Vakatawa, Joe Jenkins are all unavailable for the Bears.

As for Northampton, Saints are boosted by the returns of England internationals Alex Coles and Fin Smith to their starting line-up.

Fellow Red Rose stars Tommy Freeman and Alex Mitchell have been rested after their efforts in the Six Nations, while Fraser Dingwall has been named amongst the replacements.

England Under-20s star Archie McParland is set to make his Premiership debut, after the 19-year-old impressed during the title-winning Under-20 Six Nations campaign.

Northampton have confirmed Callum Braley, George Furbank, Tom James, Elliot Millar Mills and Tom Seabrook are all unavailable for selection.

Match odds

Bristol head into this encounter as the 4/6 favourites to earn what would be their seventh win of the Premiership campaign this season.

Northampton are 13/10 to land their 10th win of the league campaign, while a tie on the night is available at 20/1.

Northampton to win @ 13/10

Northampton’s form under boss Phil Dowson has been excellent this season and the East Midlands outfit head to Bristol on the back of 10-straight wins in all competitions.

The return of Smith at fly-half will be a massive boost, as Saints look for a bit of revenge after a 33-27 defeat to Bristol at Franklin’s Gardens early in the season.

Saints have come on leaps and bounds since that loss on 21st October and they should have the quality in their ranks, especially the backline with Smith pulling the strings, to come out on top against the Bears.

SaintstoWin

First half winner - Bristol @ 5/6

While Saints supporters might be the ones smiling at the full-time whistle, a strong start can be expected of the Bears on their own patch.

Northampton have sometimes struggled to get going in recent league games, finding themselves behind at half-time in two of their last three matches in the competition.

Look to Bristol to be leading at the break, but Northampton’s quality to shine through later on in the contest.

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