Ulster vs Northampton Saints
Two teams could not have more contrasting fortunes coming into this match. Ulster had a brilliant away win to Clermont while the Saints were smashed by Racing at home. The away team will be looking for redemption but will have to do it without their star flyhalf Dan Biggar but they do welcome back Lion Courtney Lawes. His battle with fellow Lion Iain Henderson already stands out as the highlight of the match. The Saints will need a much better defensive performance than their last match were they shipped tries without much effort.
TIP: This match like all European contests will see the team with the stronger pack come out on top. Ulster certainly have the edge in this department especially with Springbok Duane Vermeulen and Henderson in the pack. The battle with the back rowers will be fantastic with international stars in both teams. Both teams have great pace in their backlines and if they can get the ball out to the backs we could see free flowing exciting game. The bookies have the home team as heavy favourites. The best odds on the Ulster win are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.11, Playabets 1.11, and Sunbet 1.11
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Ulster vs Northampton Saints
- There have been four meetings between the sides with each team winning two each.
- The last three matches have been won by the away team on the day.
- Their last meeting was won 35-27 by Ulster.
Latest results for both teams
Ulster won their last match 29-23 against Clermont and the Saints were beaten 45-14 by Racing.
The Ulster team was on fire last week and if they can replicate that form then they will win this match comfortably. They will need to guard against complacency against a Saints side who will be eager to bounce back after the humiliating home loss. The man that was a standout performer last week for Ulster was James Hume. He was also brilliant earlier this season when Ulster beat Leinster. His trademark bullocking runs complement his midfield partner Stuart McCloskey who is all power. The pride of the Saints will ensure that this match will not be an easy ride for the home team. I am predicting a home win by less than 10 points.
- Confirmed Starting XVs
15 Michael Lowry, 14 Craig Gilroy, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Marcus Rea, 5 Iain Henderson (c), 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Marty Moore, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andy Warwick
15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Ollie Sleightholme, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Fraser Dingwall, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 George Furbank, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Lewis Ludlam (c), 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Api Ratuniyarawa, 4 David Ribbans, 3 Ehren Painter, 2 Mike Haywood, 1 Alex Waller
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Ulster victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Northampton handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (+14.5) 2.10
Playabets (+14.5) 1.84
Sunbet (+15.5) 1.87
Predictions and Odds in details
Both these team have similar tactics in a match. They both like to get the ball out to the wings and have pace throughout the side. The Saints will need to make certain that their maul defence is on point as Ulster have one of the best rolling mauls in Europe. The midfield battle will go a long way to deciding the match and this is where I feel Ulster have the big advantage. There are very poor returns on Ulster on the outright win therefore I suggest the value bet of the Saints on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+14.5) 2.10, Playabets (+14.5) 1.84 and Sunbet (+15.5) 1.87
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.