By Thomas Branston
Stadium MK (Kick-off 3pm)
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant Refs: Wayne Falla, Gareth Copsey
TMO: Graham Hughes
Northampton Saints have narrowly missed out in their last two Aviva Premiership matches very late on against two of their playoff rivals, Leicester and Wasps. Saints have played six previous matches at Stadium MK winning two and losing once in the Premiership.
Saracens only defeat in their last six matches was 10-32 defeat at home to Leicester in the semi-final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 11 March. Sarries have lost three of their last five away games in the Premiership, with defeats to Bath, Worcester and Gloucester.
Saracens have previously played three games in Milton Keynes winning two ‘home’ games when they moved there from Vicarage Road, against Bristol in 2008 and Northampton in 2012, but losing 20-25 there in a Saints “home” game in 2015.
Saracens have the upper hand on the books in this tie with the visitors only losing once in their last five matches against Northampton in all tournaments was 15-20 at Allianz Park in Premiership in March 2016.
Saracens won a feisty encounter last time out at Allianz Park winning 27-12, in a first-half battle the half-time score was even with both Myler and Lozowski trading three penalties each. Myler added another penalty early on, however a poor half of discipline from Saints allowed Jamie George to cross over and Saracens were later awarded a penalty try from pulling down a maul.
Northampton Saints | 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Luther Burrell, 12 Harry Mallinder, 11 Ben Foden, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Nic Groom; 1 Alex Waller, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Kieran Brookes, 4 Courtney Lawes, 5 David Ribbans, 6 Jamie Gibson, 7 Tom Wood (c), 8 Louis Picamoles
Replacements | 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Teimana Harrison, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Rory Hutchinson, 23 Juan Pablo Estelles
Saracens | 15 Alex Goode, 14 Nathan Earle, 13 Marcelo Bosch, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Ben Spencer; 1 Titi Lamositele, 2 Jamie George (c), 3 Vincent Koch, 4 Nick Isiekwe, 5 George Kruis, 6 Joel Conlon, 7 Schalk Burger, 8 Jackson Wray
Replacements |16 Schalk Brits, 17 Hayden Thompson-Stringer, 18 Petrus Du Plessis, 19 Michael Rhodes, 20 Billy Vunipola, 21 Henry Taylor, 22 Nick Tompkins, 23 Chris Ashton