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Preview: Northampton Saints v Saracens

Preview: Northampton Saints v Saracens

The Saints and Saracens have clashed in three previous semi-finals, all at Franklin’s Gardens, Saracens winning 25-10 in the cup in March 1998, but Northampton taking the European Challenge Cup 16-13 in May 2009 and the LV= Cup semi-final in March 31-20.

Franklin’s Gardens becomes the 7th different venue to host a Premiership semi-final match.
Northampton Saints reach a Guinness Premiership semi-final for the first time since 2003/04 and will be hoping to make it to a first ever Premiership final. Saints’ most recent home game was also against Saracens two weeks ago, where the visitors triumphed 28-27.

Northampton have won three of their last four semi-finals in all competitions and have not lost a home semi-final since Saracens visited Franklin’s Gardens in the last four of the Tetley’s Bitter Cup in March 1998.

Saracens make the playoffs for the first time since 2006/07, having finished the regular season with three straight away victories – they have not won four in a row on the road in the Premiership since 1997/98. Saracens have lost their last six semi-final encounters in all competitions since beating Worcester 28-10 at Vicarage Road in the Wildcard semi-final on 6 May 2005.

The two teams have already met on four previous occasions this season with Saracens winning both encounters in the Guinness Premiership and Northampton both games in the LV= Cup.

Referee: Wayne Barnes (80th Premiership game).

Live on SkySports HD.

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