The Sharks have won their past four matches in all competitions and despite the fact they are still ninth in the Gallagher Premiership table, they are now just four points off fourth.
Saints are one point better off than Sale, sitting seventh, meaning today's game is crucial for both sides.
And Boyd knows just how big a challenge the Sharks will pose at the Gardens.
The Saints boss said: “They're a good side, they've won their past three league games, including decent victories against Harlequins and Leicester, and they disposed of Worcester quite comfortably last weekend.
“They're on a bit of a roll, they've got a bit of a streak going, they're a big, physical side with lots of South African players.
“They will be a handful for us and the lessons we hopefully learned against Leicester last weekend will apply quite nicely against Sale.
“We didn't fire a shot (in the 35-20 defeat) against Leicester.
“Facing Leicester at Leicester should be an emotional game and we didn't fire a shot emotionally.
“We didn't come to the party at all. I'm not sure why, but it was massively disappointing for everyone involved.
“We have to dust ourselves off and get going again.”
Saints lost 30-6 at Sale back in November, but Boyd feels the opposition have developed since then.
“You play everybody a couple of times and some teams evolve a little bit under new directorship,” Boyd said.
“Everyone knows the game you face when you play Sale so there are not many surprises in the league - you've just got to be able to deal with it.”
A win this weekend would be a huge boost for Saints in their top-four bid.
“The gap from third to ninth is about eight points and it was always going to be like that,” Boyd said.
“There was going to be a couple of sides who struggled and you're never 100 per cent sure who they will be but you've got a bit of an idea at the start.
“Momentum is very important and some teams have got a nice run going now. Others had a pretty decent run and have gone quiet.
“It's just a really tough competition.
“When you're in a league situation it's about accumulation of points and we need to accumulate some more.
“Sale is very important to us this week but Leicester was last week as well and we were pretty miserable so the games are all tough.”