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Nic Ladds 31st Oct 2009 - 9:33

Saints need to pray they can leave away record at home

An East Midlands derby which has been shorn of a number of international stars due to call ups but that won't stop these two tearing lumps out of each other with Leicester at 2/5 and Northampton at 7/4.

The Tigers are without around 20 players due to either injury or call for international duty but they were delighted to hear that second row pair Richard Blaze and Ben Kay (both 40/1 for first try) had been released by England to play while Aaron Mauger (14/1) is fit and will start as captain in the centres.

Northampton meanwhile don't have quite so many injury worries but have lost some crucial players in the shape of Dylan Hartley and Ben Foden who has not been released by England so Bruce Reihana (12/1) will move to full back with Paul Diggin taking the number 11 shirt.

Leicester's starting line up looks strong but they are lacking strength in depth due to their thin squad and the Saints could start coming in to the game later on and the handicap set with Northampton having a six point head start at 10/11 looks about right with the home side also 10/11 giving up the six.

Looking at the handicap it would make sense that a winning margin to of 1-5 (5/1) or 6-10 (9/2) to Leicester look in the right area while the same margins in favour of Northampton are 6/1 (1-5) and 8/1 (6-10) while a handicap tie is available at 16/1.

If this was at Franklin's Gardens then the Saints would be strong favourites as they just don't seem to lose there, but their away form leaves much to be desired and they have won just one away game against the woeful Gloucester on 19 September.

The Tigers did lose last week but that was to the outstanding London Irish which ended a six game unbeaten run for them while their most recent defeat at Welford Road was to Wasps back in September 2008.

While the squad has taken a hit the home side can still call on the likes of Johne Murphy, Lucas Amarosino (both 11/1 for first try), Jeremy Staunton (25/1) and they have their international front row of Martin Castrogiovanni, Mefin Davies and Marcos Ayerza who are a match for any front three.

As we said before, Northampton may struggle at first and come back in to it later on so Leicester to be winning at half time at 4/7 looks a good bet as does backing them in the race to 10 points at 4/7.

Northampton's away record is too poor to be able to back them with any confidence and while this looks like it could be close, Leicester should take it and a back of them winning by 6-10 points at 6/1 looks the call.


Leicester to win by 6-10 points - 6/1

Leicester on the half time betting - 4/7


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