Wasps v Northampton Saints: Tom Vickers' big match preview

Fixture: Wasps v Northampton Saints

Friday, 8th October 2021, 12:15 pm
Updated Friday, 8th October 2021, 12:16 pm
Alex Mitchell

Competition: Gallagher Premiership (round four)

Venue: CBS Arena, Coventry

Date and kick-off time: Sunday, October 10, 2021, 3pm

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Weather forecast: 17c, partly cloudy

Live television coverage: BT Sport 1

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (100th Premiership game)

Wasps: Watson; Kibirige, Spink, Le Bourgeois, Bassett; Umaga, Robson; Harris, Cruse, Scholtz; Fifita, Stooke; Shields (c), Young, T Willis.

Replacements: Oghre, Hislop, Toomaga-Allen, Gaskell, Hougaard, Gopperth, Crossdale.

Saints: Furbank; Freeman, Proctor, Dingwall, Sleightholme; Biggar, Mitchell; Auterac, Matavesi, Hill; Ribbans, Ratuniyarawa; Lawes, Ludlam (c), Augustus.

Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Painter, Coles, Harrison, Lomani, Hutchinson, Moon.

Not considered for Saints selection: Matthew Arden, Callum Burns, Oisín Heffernan, Dani Long-Martinez, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Ollie Newman, JJ Tonks

Most recent meeting: Saturday, May 29, 2021: Saints 30 Wasps 25 (Gallagher Premiership)

Tom's preview: Saints have edged past Wasps on their past two visits to Coventry - and there has been no shortage of drama on either occasion.

But Chris Boyd's side would swap both of those victories - and the one they claimed against Wasps at the Gardens back in May - in a heartbeat this weekend.

Because a victory in Coventry on Sunday would be another shot in the arm for a team who have found different ways to win at the start of this campaign.

If they could make it four from four going into their bye weekend and then back-to-back home games against Worcester and Leicester, it would be a big boost.

Especially when you consider how Wasps brushed aside Bristol Bears in Lee Blackett's side's only home game so far this season.

Meetings between Saints and Wasps are rarely dull, with both sides coming to play.

And another enthralling encounter is in prospect this weekend for teams who had very different conclusions to last weekend's games.

Wasps were edged out late on at Newcastle, while Saints somehow found a way to win against London Irish.

The black, green and gold have made a habit of holding their nerve late on during the early part of this season.

And composure and accuracy will be key if they are to come away from Coventry with another win.

They will have to think clearly in what is likely to be a frantic and frenetic battle as Wasps look to bedazzle them with their backs play.

And Saints will need to ally defensive desire with calm heads and control in attack.

If they can do that, they can win against at Wasps.

And how much better that weekend off would feel with another four or five points in the pocket.

Tom's prediction: This should be a really lively game between two teams who love to play. I'm backing Saints to just edge home. Wasps 23 Saints 27.