Northampton Saints vs Leicester Tigers Prediction: Saints to edge win in Midlands derby

 | 20th April | 

4 mins read

Alex Cox Rugby Union

It's Derby day at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday as Northampton Saints host Leicester Tigers in the Gallagher Premiership (KO, 15:00).

Our rugby union expert Alex Cox has previewed the clash below and shared his Northampton Saints vs Leicester Tigers predictions.

Northampton Saints vs Leicester Tigers Betting Tips

  • Northampton Saints to win by 1-12 margin @ 15/8

This East Midlands derby has a lot at stake, and it’s no surprise Franklin’s Gardens has sold out in preparation for a huge game for both sides.

The Saints have had a fantastic season to date. First place in the Premiership so far and into the semi-finals of the Champions Cup are extremely impressive accolades to hold.

However, with some challenging games coming up – starting with this local derby before a trip to Twickenham HQ next week - they are under pressure to secure a crucial home fixture in the Premiership play-off semi-finals. Their recent form at home has been untouchable at times, winning their last 10 home games in all competitions.

Leicester are one of the sides trying to hunt down the table-toppers but are currently 10 points off the Saints on the log. This means a win for Leicester on Saturday would make a significant difference in the play-off hunt moving into the final four rounds.

Despite a few personnel changes for the Saints, I think they have enough talent and power across the starting side and bench to find some value in the Saints' 1-12 winning margin.

Team News

Northampton

Saints have made a few changes but still have a strong side out for this contest. Alex Waller, Curtis Langdon and Elliot Millar Mills will be in the front-row, with Alex Moon and Fijian Temo Mayanavanua in the locks.

Rest weeks for Tom Pearson and Courtney Lawes leaves the back-row of Alex Coles, Lewis Ludlam and Juarno Augustus. They will need to keep a close eye on Tommy Reffell who will be a breakdown menace all day.

Alex Mitchell continues at scrum-half but as Fin Smith is on the bench this week, he will be partnered by George Furbank on his return from injury. The versatile Fraser Dingwall shifts into inside centre and Tom Litchfield joins him in the midfield.

No sign of Ollie Sleightholme this week, meaning it will be Tom Seabrook and George Hendy on the wings and Australian James Ramm at full-back.

Leicester

James Cronin, Julian Montoya and Dan Cole will combine in the front-row and will certainly test Saints in the set-piece. No sign of George Martin this week, meaning it’s Ollie Chessum and Harry Wells in the second-row this week.

Dan McKellar has chosen to inject some exuberant youth into his starting team, with U20 skipper Finn Carnduff selected on one flank and Reffell on the other side. Jasper Wiese closes out the pack from number eight.

Jack van Poortvliet is starting to find his feet again after he was injured in the earlier rounds, and he will be partnered by World Cup winner and sharp-shooter Handre Pollard. Solomone Kata and Dan Kelly have had some time together in the midfield as of late, and will partner up again from the outset.

Ollie Hassell-Collins will be on the left-wing with Freddie Steward shifting out to the right-wing to make room for a second ball-playing option in Jamie Shillcock at full-back.

Match Odds

Northampton Saints are 2/5 to record a victory, giving them an implied win probability of 71.4%, while Leicester Tigers are 23/10, or a 30.3% chance. The draw, meanwhile, can be backed at 22/1.

Northampton Saints to win by 1-12 margin @ 15/8

The recent head-to-head statistics show that it’s Leicester that have had the upper hand over the Saints in the last few years, winning four of the last five meetings between the sides.

However, the Saints have improved dramatically and I believe they are good value for their home favourite tags here. They are now able to match Tigers up front – although the Saints will still expect a barrage of close-contact phases heading their direction.

I think Saints will be able to handle this onslaught attempt and still find opportunities in the wide channels to expose Tigers' defence, before managing the game in the final quarter with the key game-managers on the park to close out a narrow victory.

Northampton Saints to beat Leicester Tigers by 1-12 margin at 15-8

Find more Rugby Union Betting Tips here at Betfred Insights

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