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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Saints value to avenge last year's hammering by Quins

Home side on the road to recovery

Heinrich Brussow (right) of Northampton Saints tussles with Gloucester's Lewis Ludow
1 of 1

Northampton v Harlequins
BT Sport 1, 7.45pm Friday

A 50-21 humbling by Harlequins in their Big Game 10 showdown at Twickenham truly summed up the shambles that was Northampton's 2017-18 season - although the sorry Saints also suffered four hammerings by Saracens. 

Quins started their Premiership campaign and Paul Gustard's tenure at the Stoop with a sensational 51-23 success over Sale on Saturday.   

However, there were enough green shoots of recovery in the Saints' 27-16 loss at Gloucester to suggest that the value bet at Franklin's Gardens is a home victory by a margin of one to 12 points.

Northampton beat East Midlands rivals Leicester, Bath and Harlequins at the Gardens last September and claimed 13 points from their last eight league games including a win at Welford Road and losing bonuses at Wasps, Bath and Exeter.

New Saints coach Chris Boyd guided the Hurricanes to their only Super Rugby title and while there has not been a complete overhaul of the playing squad, some uplifting presences in James Haskell and Dan Biggar have been brought into camp in key areas where they particularly struggled.

Gustard and his grizzly number two Alex Codling will no doubt sort out Harlequins' league road woes - they won away only once last term. However, the Londoners' treatment room is busy and they could suffer a fifth-straight narrow league loss at the Gardens. 

Northampton by one to 12 points
1pt 7-4 Coral, Ladbrokes 

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Northampton beat East Midlands rivals Leicester, Bath and Harlequins at the Gardens last September
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