Northampton Saints vs Saracens Prediction: Sarries to impress under the lights

 | March 29 | 

4 mins read

Alex Cox Rugby Union

Saracens travel to Franklins Gardens for a Friday Night Lights clash with a Pole Position spot up for grabs and our Rugby Union expert Alex Cox thinks we should watch out for the Wolfpack against an under-cooked Saints side.

This match from the Gallagher English Premiership will be broadcast live on TNT Sports 1 with the game set to get underway at 19:45. Read on for Alex's full Northampton Saints vs Saracens Prediction as part of his preview for us at Betfred Insights...

Northampton Saints vs Saracens Betting Tips

  • Saracens-3.5 to Win @ 5/6

It is not often you see a league-leader as an underdog in a home match – but with Saracens firmly back in the equation again, it’s hard to argue with the handicap evaluation.

Saints have had a remarkable run this season so far, but there were signs of cobwebs last week vs Bristol after this unique season schedule that has seen domestic rugby put on hold for 8 weeks during the 6 Nations, seemed to catch up with the table-toppers.

They seemed to struggle with Bristol’s tempo and looked a yard or two off the pace and although they will be seeking a reaction in front of their home fans under the lights at Franklins Gardens, they face a stern test.

Saints slow start after a break was also evident at the start of the season, when they lost their first two games and my concern is that it will continue again on Friday night.

Saracens held their box-office game vs Quins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last weekend and 60,000 fans were treated to a superb Sarries performance. They have their eyes firmly placed on the Title and seemed to have navigated the ship back on the right path after some disappointing early season results.

The Farrell-to-Racing92 transfer mismanagement seemed to weigh on the squad, but with clarity now provided, the performances have significantly improved. I think we’ll see this continue on Friday night and although the first half may be tight, I believe Sarries will be able to get over the line in the final quarter.

Prediction: Saracens -3.5 @ 5/6 

Team News: 

Northampton

Saints are still missing a few notable names – English pair Mitchell and Furbank being the standouts – however they’ve been able to recall some key personnel this week. Iyogun, Langdon and Davison will be responsible for facing the Sarries pack front-on, with Moon and Coles in the second-row behind them.

Toulon-bound Ludlam drops to the bench this week to make way for the impressive Pearson and he’ll be joined by skipper Lawes and the South African wrecking-ball Augustus, in the back-row.

English U20 rising talent Archie McParland was given a start last week in the absence of a few of Saints’ regular Scrum Halves and although he is certainly one for the future, he looked a little lost at times against a rampant Bristol side. But Saints can recall James this week, meaning McParland drops to the bench.

Fin Smith remains at Fly-Half, with Dingwall and Odendaal outside him. The back-three has plenty of weapons – Sleightholme, Freeman and Ramm – who will be hoping to find some open space to roam on Friday night.

Saracens

Whilst the Sarries squad depth was looking a little thin before the International break, it’s fully loaded now. Mako Vuniploa, George and Riccioni combine in an experience front-row, with McFarland and Isekwe in behind them – no Itoje this week. Gonzalez, Christie and Billy Vunipola complete the pack – with Gonzalez and Christie especially in fine form.

There are no changes to the backline that dismantled Harlequins last weekend, with van Zyl and Farrell as the half-back pairing again. Tompkins and Cinti remain in the midfield to create a well-balanced duo, with Lewington, Maitland and Daly as the back-three.

The backs were afforded the keys of the Spurs pitch last weekend by a non-existent Quins defence – but they’ll have to work a look harder at Franklins Gardens this week.

Bet reasoning

Although Northampton have a few players back this week – Pearson, Freeman and James especially – they still have a number missing and as a result don’t seem to have the usual depth.

In comparison, Saracens have a very strong 23 available, with the ability to bring players off the bench like Earl, Willis, Dan and Goode, to make an impact in the final quarter. Saracens know a win on the road will put them into 1st position and I’m confident they can get the win they need and cover the small minus handicap.

You can find all our latest Rugby Union Betting Tips over on our Insights hub. 

Share Article

(Visited 138 times, 1 visits today)