13th January 2012
Heineken Cup Scarlets v Northampton Betting: Northampton to gain revenge for defeat at Franklin's Gardens
This clash sees Northamton with very little to play for other than pride in this the last but one of their remaining 2 Heineken Cup fixtures. The bookmakers don't see it that way though making Scarlets only slightly favourites for the match (10/11 with PaddyPower).
Both teams come in to this match with pretty decent form. Northampton are starting to put a real run together now in the Aviva Premiership with just 1 defeat in 8 matches and that run included wins over both Saracens and Harlequins. Their only defeat in that sequence was a very narrow loss to away to Leicester which they lost 30 -25. Scarlets ended last year with a home victory over Ospreys and a hard fought victory at Rodney Parade when they fielded a depleted team. They carried that form over in to the New Year with another tightly fought victory over Glasgow last weekend.
Both teams are taking this match very seriously and are fielding their best possible sides. Flanker Tom Wood misses this clash for Northampton and is replaced by Callum Clark. Stephen Myler and Martin Roberts are the preferred half backs and Brian Mujati starts at prop.
Scarlets have to make three enforced changes due to injuries picked up against Glasgow and that means that Sean Lamont, Sione Timani and Rhys Thomas all miss out.
This could be very high scoring affair if both sides decide to throw caution to the wind. Northampton cannot qualify for the quarter finals and Scarlets only have a very slim chance and would seemingly need at least a bonus point victory here.
Northampton are the real form side currently in the Aviva Premiership and I can see them carrying that form on in to this fixture. In their last encounter against the Scarlets they gifted the Welsh side some very soft tries and it was more a case of an underpar Northampton performance than a great Scarlets one.
Scarlets even though unbeaten in their last three now in the Rabo12 they just aren't blowing teams away and are just grinding out points where as Northampton are playing some lovely rugby and racking up the points. I therefore think that Northampton at odds against are a decent bet for this encounter.
Recommended Bet: Northampton to beat Scarlets at 6/5 with Sky Bet
- Register at Skybet
Author: The Hooker