Aviva Premiership Semi-Final Weekend

Leicester v Saracens (Saturday 12th KO 5:30pm ESPN)

There is only one place to start this weekend and that is at Welford Road for the battle between the sides who have played in the last two finals, Leicester and Saracens.

Not only is there plenty of rivalry at stake here between two clubs who have grown to dislike each other but there is the little matter of a place at Twickenham on May 26.

Sarries have been Tigers’ bogey team in recent years and, I see, have won on their last three visits to the Tigers lair, so they won’t be intimidated.

Tigers have been unstoppable in recent weeks and they will be very dangerous at home, where they have not lost for the best part of six months.

For that reason, I have to back them to make it a home win. If they get ahead early, I can see Sarries struggling to get back into it with their somewhat limited game plan.

But if they don’t, it will be a slog. I can see Tigers winning by six points but if any team is going to beat them at home, it’s going to be Saracens.

Harlequins v Northampton (Saturday 12th May KO 2:45pm, Sky Sports1)

Home advantage will play a big part here. The Saints are generally good on their own patch but not so good away from home.

Quins are superb at The Stoop and will have a big crowd cheering them on. They will also have the added incentive of wanting to prove a few doubters wrong who have waiting for them to slip up all season – myself included if I am being honest.

It’s a was a superb win for the Saints at Exeter the other week but they will continue to miss a whole host of their best players in the pack and that, for me, will be key to the game.

If Quins can stay on top of Northampton’s set-piece, they have a better set of backs to cause damage.

I can see the Quins booking a place across the road in two weeks’ time and I am surprised the bookies have it so close. I am going, Quins by eight points.


 

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