Bath v Northampton preview: Team news, kick-off time, line-ups, odds and stats for the Aviva Premiership clash
Bath host Northampton in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday: 15:15 kick-off
England centre Jonathan Joseph makes his first appearance of the season for Bath after injury
Saints make four changes to the side which beat Gloucester last Friday night
Bath and Northampton will both be looking to get their seasons back on track this afternoon after difficult starts to the Aviva Premiership season.
Last year’s finalist Bath and the 2013/14 winners Northampton have both struggled to get into the rhythm so far this term, and each have two wins from five games so far.
After success in the past for both sides, they Bath and Northampton find themselves in eighth and sixth respectively, and both will be desperately looking for the win to kick-start their season.
Signs are looking good for the home side as Northampton have beaten their West Country rivals in their last three times the teams have faced each other.
The last time these two sides did meet was on the 21st of May 2015, where the Saints game out on top, winning the game 21-13 away from home.
However, Bath have reasons to be positive, as they have not lost two successive games at the Rec since 2014. Their last home loss came at Harlequins on Halloween.
Bath lost their game Leicester away from home 21-11 while Saints overcame Gloucester 15-3 in front of their own fans.
Saints prop Ethan Weller knows his side are in for a tough test against Bath, saying, “”It’s a huge test playing against Bath, and we’ve spent a lot of time preparing for what we’re going to face.”
“Their pack is doing really well, so we know we’re going to have to be strong up front.
“But then you look at the talent in their backs, and we’re going to have to be very careful about that when they get the ball.”
Bath have won just one of their last four Premiership rugby fixtures
The hosts were defeated in their most recent Premiership rugby home game by Harlequins in Round Three and have not lost back-to-back games in the tournament at the Recreation Ground since March 2014
Northampton have won their last three matches in all competitions
Saints are unbeaten in their last eight Premiership Rugby encounters with Bath since Bath won 38-8 at the Rec in February 2011
Bath 1/2 Draw 28/1 Northampton 7/4
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Bath: George Ford
Northampton: Luther Burrell
Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Tom Ellis, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nick Auterac
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Dave Wilson, 19 David Denton, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Niko Matawalu, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Tom Homer
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden (c), 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Ethan Waller
Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 James Craig, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Ken Pisi
Date: Saturday, December 5
Venue: The Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Graham Hughes