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Nic Ladds 10th Jan 2009 - 9:15

Leicester can march all over the Saints

Toby Flood is back but Dan Hipkiss is out as Leicester find themselves slight favourites at odds of 8/11 in the betting.

Flood missed last weeks' game at Bath but will return at fly half to which softens the blow of losing Hipkiss. Flood is available at 20/1 to score the first try.

Northampton have struggled away from home but have not lost at Franklin's Gardens since March of 2007 and will have their backers at even money on the outright betting.

The handicap has Leicester giving up just a point at 10/11 which shows how strong Northampton are at home despite their poor Guiness Premiership position and they are also 10/11 in receipt of a point.

Leicester have not won in any of their last five away matches but have beaten Northampton the last two times the teams met in the Guinness Premiership at Franklin's Gardens.

Johne Murphy at 11/1 for first try and Matt Smith at 12/1 for first try are big dangers the home side will have to be wary of.
An interesting bet at a big price could be Tom Croft to score the first try. Croft scored both tries in Leicester's victory over Bath and at 33/1 could be fancied to repeat the trick, as his confidence will be sky-high.

For Northampton, Scotland winger Sean Lamont will be popular at 10/1 to go over first and New Zealander Carlos Spencer can create something out of nothing and could be big at 20/1 to go over first.

This should be close match as Northampton are weaker but excellent at home and will have all their fans roaring them on in this local derby.

The Saints may well come out firing and have Leicester on the back foot. The Tigers stronger squad though should see them come back later on making Northampton half time/Leicester full time at odds of 11/2 look a realistic option.

Leicester should nick this one despite Northampton's solid record at home and edge themselves back into contention for the title.

Recommendation:
Northampton half time/Leicester full time - 11/2

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