MX23RW : Friday, November 24 10:26:02| >> :600:332931:332931:
Leicester Tigers
Gallagher Premiership
Nov 18, 2023 at 3.05pm UK
Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
SaintsNorthampton Saints
van Wyk (56'), Liebenberg (72')
Furbank (59'), Matavesi (80')

Preview: Leicester Tigers vs. Northampton Saints - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Gallagher Premiership clash between Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints will battle for bragging rights when they lock horns in another East Midlands Derby in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday afternoon.

Leicester come into this match second bottom in the standings with six points after five rounds, while Northampton are in fourth place with 16 points and carrying excellent momentum.

Match preview

Leicester Tigers' Ben Youngs scores against Northampton on September 13, 2020© Reuters

After reaching the semi-final of this competition last season, the Tigers have struggled to produce the same type of form this term and find themselves just four points above the foot of the table.

Despite putting up an impressive display last weekend, Leicester suffered a 29-25 defeat against the Harlequins, marking their fourth loss in five matches and second in succession.

However, the Tigers would have taken several positives from their performance in that match, which swung back and forth with the lead changing hands as many as six times across the 80 minutes.

That result also marked Leicester's second home loss of the campaign, following a 24-17 defeat against Sale Sharks last month, but with players returning from international duty and settling back into rhythm, they will likely feel last week's match was a solid platform to build on over the upcoming weeks.

Exeter Chiefs' Henry Slade in action with Northampton Saints' Henry Taylor on September 20, 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Northampton will come to Welford Road Stadium with fond memories of their last trip here, when they came out on top in a nail-biting 19-18 victory back in January this year.

That win brought an end to their three-match losing streak against their cross-town rivals and also marked their first win at this venue since the 2019 Premiership Rugby Cup, when they prevailed by 31-22.

The Saints finished behind the Tigers by a single point last season, but they will head into this fixture with loads of confidence after beating the Exeter Chiefs 34-19 last weekend at Franklin's Gardens.

Following a very poor start to the competition where they lost back-to-back matches, Northampton are now on a three-match winning streak, including victories over Newcastle and Bath in that time.

Leicester Tigers Gallagher Premiership form:

  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Leicester Tigers form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Northampton Saints Gallagher Premiership form:

  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Northampton Saints form (all competitions):

  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

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Team News

Northampton Saints' Courtney Lawes receives medical attention on January 21, 2023© Reuters

The Tigers sorely missed World Cup winner Handre Pollard over the first part of the competition, and the South African should start again in this one alongside Ben Youngs.

Freddie Steward was arguably Leicester's man of the match last week and is expected to make up the back three alongside Mike Brown and Josh Bassett on the opposite flank.

Fin Smith and Alexander Mitchell were excellent in the halves pairing against Exeter and should keep their place in the starting 15, with Fraser Dingwall and Rory Hutchinson in midfield.

The backline is expected to remain unchanged, with George Hendy occupying the full-back role, while Tommy Freeman and Tom Seabrook will provide the pace down the wings.

Leicester Tigers starting lineup: 15. Mike Brown, 14. Freddie Steward, 13. Dan Kelly, 12. Solomone Kata, 11. Josh Bassett, 10. Handre Pollard, 9. Ben Youngs, 8. Matt Rogerson, 6. Hanro Liebenberg, 5. Oliver Chessum, 4. Cameron Henderson, 3. Dan Cole, 2. Charlie Clare, 1. Francois van Wyk

Replacements: 16. Archie Vanes, 17. James Cronin, 18. Will Hurd, 19. Sam Carter, 20. Emeka Ilione, 21. Tom Whiteley, 22. Charlie Atkinson, 23. Matt Scott

Northampton Saints starting lineup: 15. George Hendy, 14. Tommy Freeman, 13. Fraser Dingwall, 12. Rory Hutchinson, 11. Tom Seabrook, 10. Fin Smith, 9. Alexander Mitchell, 8. Sam Graham, 7. Angus Scott-Young, 6. Courtney Lawes, 5. Chunya Munga, 4. Alexander Moon, 3. Paul Hill, 2. Curtis Langdon, 1. Alex Walker

Replacements: 16. Sam Matavesi, 17. Ethan Walker, 18. Trevor Davison, 19. Alex Coles, 20. Tom Pearson, 21. Tom James, 22. Tom Litchfield, 23. Ollie Sleightholme

SM words green background

We say: Leicester Tigers 32-28 Northampton Saints

While Leicester have not been great in this competition so far, they were much improved last week and will be determined to build on that performance. The Saints will not make it easy here, but we are backing the hosts to get a narrow victory.
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