We’re down to the final four in this year’s Aviva Premiership as we enter the semi-finals.
It’s the same four teams who made it to the play-offs last season, with Northampton Saints facing Leicester Tigers on Friday before Saracens take on Harlequins on Saturday afternoon.
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers Betting Tips
The first semi-final is a clash between East Midland rivals Northampton and Leicester, a repeat of last year’s final at Twickenham where Leicester ran out winners.
The Saints will need to break a nine-game streak without a single victory against Leicester, to ensure their second consecutive appearance in the final.
The hosts come into this match with five wins from six, which helped them to secure their second place finish in the regular season – their only defeat in that run was a narrow 28-24 defeat to table toppers Saracens in April.
They come into the match fresh off the back of a 74-13 thrashing of London Wasps last Saturday and they welcome back George Pisi, Kahn Fotuali’i, Samu Manoa and Tom Wood to their line-up after starting on the bench in that match.
Visitors Leicester have won three of their last four – most recently a 31-27 win over Saracens, who had a number of players rested after already securing top spot.
Coach Richard Cockerill will bring Marcos Ayerza, Jordan Crane, Vereniki Goneva, Logovi’i Mulipola, Ben Youngs and Tom Youngs into his side after resting them in last weekend’s match.
Leicester snatched a 22-16 win at Franklin’s Gardens when the sides last clashed in March whilst the clash at Welford Road in October ended in a 19-19 draw.
Hosts Northampton are 2/3 favourites with SkyBet but MY BET OF THE DAY is on a Leicester win with Boylesports offering favourable odds of 7/5. I think their recent play-off experience and record against the Saints could give them the edge.
Follow this one live from 7:45pm on BT Sport 1.
Saracens v Harlequins Betting Tips
Then on Saturday, Saracens welcome Harlequins to Vicarage Road for the second of the semi-finals.
Mark McCall’s front-running side tied up their play-off spot some time ago and next week have the Heineken Cup final against Toulon to also look forward to – but will this act as a distraction from their domestic ambitions?
This is Saracens’ fifth successive Premiership semi-final appearance although they haven’t reached the final since 2011. Captain Steve Borthwick will make his final home appearance before returning at the end of the season.
Visitors Harlequins have not had the best of records against Saracens, with only just one win against them in their last 10 meetings.
They’ve won their last five Premiership matches, including scalps over Leicester and most recently Bath, that most recent victory sneaking them into the players on points difference above the Somerset side.
Conor O’Shea has made just one change from the Bath game, with Luke Wallace recovering from injury to start at blindside flanker.
Watch this one live from 2pm on BT Sport 1.
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