Harlequins vs Northampton Saints Prediction: Quins to win at Big Stoop

 | 27th April | 

3 mins read

Alex Cox Rugby Union

This Saturday afternoon blockbuster sees 5th place Harlequins take on 1st place Northampton Saints at the home of English rugby – Twickenham.

Quins have billed the game “The big Summer Kick Off” and sold more than 60,000 tickets for the 3pm kickoff, however it doesn’t look like the weather forecast is going to play ball – with rain expected to be falling most of the day, threatening the level of joué on display.

Our rugby union expert Alex Cox has previewed Saturday's clash and shared his Harlequins and Northampton Saints predictions. 

Harlequins vs Northampton Saints Prediction

  • Harlequins -3.5 @ 4/5  
  • Double Result Saints HT / Quins FT @ 6/1

Harlequins are currently one point outside of the top-4, however with Bristol also playing today they can’t afford a slip up here and will be targeting a bonus point win. They will certainly have plenty of confidence after their recent excursion to Bordeaux and they almost completed a typical Harlequins comeback in a tough outing to Sale last week. Quins have always been known to throw the ball around and produce moments of magic, but it’s their set-piece that has impressed me most this season and they currently have the highest scrum success in all of Europe (96.6%).

Saints currently have a 4 point lead at the top of the table, after Saracens closed the gap last night. They are on a remarkable run in form, winning 14 of their last 15 matches in all competitions. They continue to impress in their attack patterns, expertly manipulating defences to find and exploit holes and mismatches.

But Harlequins will take comfort in that one recent Saints loss, away to Bristol, who attack the game in a similar manner to them. It’s also no secret that Harlequins find another gear when they play over at the “Big Stoop”.

Team News

Despite having one of the clubs biggest European fixtures ever next week, Quins have named their strongest side. Up front will be Baxter, Walker and Collier - the scrummaging trio that Bordeaux are still having nightmares about. Herbst and Lewies will offer ballast in the second-row and in the all-English back-row will be Cunningham-South, Evans and Dombrandt.

Care and Smith continue as half-backs, with Esterhuizen and Northmore in the midfield, meaning Beard moves to the bench. The familiar back-three of Murley, Lynagh and Green will be looking for opportunities in the wide channels of Twickenham.

Like Quins, Saints have opted to not rotate too much either, although there are a few missing. The front-row will be Iyogun, Matevesi and Davison - with Langdon given a rest this week. Mayanavanua and Lockett will combine in the second-row, with Lawes, Ludlam and Graham in the back-row. Cole and Moon are absent but it's still a very competent Saints pack.

Mitchel and Smith will partner together at 9 and 10 again – providing an intriguing half-back battle against Care and Marcus Smith. Litchfield shuffles into 12 with Dingwall rotated down to the bench and Freeman moves into 13. Sleightholme and Ramm will offer Saints width – the former is arguably the form winger in the Premiership and I’m sure will relish a chance for a run out at Twickenham on a big stage. Finally, after slotting in at fly-half last week, Furbank moves back to his usual full-back position.

Harlequins -3.5 @ 4/5  & Double Result Saints HT / Quins FT @ 6/1

Harlequins players and coaches have been quoted using the phrase “Swinging the bat” when describing their strategy and ethos for this Premiership and European run-in.

They are not a side that often wins in a comfortable fashion – in fact it’s often bonkers – but when they are in the right mood, they find a way to get the result.

I’m expecting each side to have spells when they are on-top – and can see Northampton leading at half time, but ultimately I think the motivation of being at Twickenham and knowing a win will get them back into playoff spots will be the difference today.

Rugby Union Betting Tips from Betfred Insights.

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