Boss Jim Mallinder has highlighted three key threats to Saints’ chances of beating Bath today (Saturday).
Mallinder says tricky trio Matt Banahan, Tom Biggs and Nick Abendanon must be stopped at Franklin’s Gardens.
England centre Banahan has been a thorn in the side of Northampton in the past, putting in some memorable performances against them.
Biggs, who scored against Saints in his side’s 18-15 defeat at The Rec earlier in the season, is an imposing presence on the wing.
And Abendanon, a one-time rival of Ben Foden for the England No,15 shirt, is a danger from full-back.
Mallinder is wary of the threat those players pose and he wants his side to get on the front foot early to snuff out the Bath backs.
“First of all we’ve got to look for a stranglehold up front, which every team looks to do, and in defence we’ve got to watch them playing,” said the Saints boss.
“They’ve got some big midfield runners, Banahan in particular is a big lump and hard to stop, and their back three love to play. We’ve had some fun with them before.
“They’ve got Biggs and other class players out wide so we’ve got to stop them playing. We’ve got to get on the front foot.”