Saints need a miracle to defeat the Tigers in Twickenham clash

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Despite tasting defeat in the last two Premiership finals, a Leicester outfit containing six British Lions should be too strong for first-time finalists Northampton.

The Saints have not enjoyed success over their East Midlands rivals in seven consecutive games, a run that dates back to the opening day of the 2010-2011 season.

And although Ladbrokes make Leicester a decent 4/9 to win in 80 minutes, a more appealing option is to back the nine-time champions with a (-6.0) handicap at 10/11. Especially given that in their most recent clash, the Tigers won 38-8 at Franklin’s Gardens.

Richard Cockerill made the tough decision this week to leave club captain Geordan Murphy out of the match day squad, and while a dream send-off for the 16-year stalwart would have been nice, there is no place for sentiment at Welford Road.

With that in mind, you can expect all of the British Lions to start at Twickenham and play the full 80 minutes if necessary.

Tom Croft is being tipped to start the first Test in Australia and having missed most of the season through injury, he was back to his dynamic best in the semi-final win over Harlequins, rounding off a superb performance with a 50-metre solo try.

His 4/1 anytime tryscorer price is certainly tempting but 16/1 for the 27-year-old to score last against a tiring group of Northampton players looks like outstanding value.

It is also feasible that one of the other 15 forwards crosses the whitewash first given that Jordan Crane, Soane Tonga’uiha and Samu Mano are all set to start the match –  Ladbrokes make it an attractive 7/4 that a forward scores the opener.

All odds and markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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