Saracens trip to Harlequins and London Welsh's home clash against Gloucester round off the round five action.
Aviva Premiership Round 5 Previews
Northampton Saints v Wasps (Friday, 7.45pm)
Northampton Saints have really hit the ground running in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season with a perfect played four, won four record. The Saints have now won their last six regular season matches in the competition. Northampton have lost just one Premiership game at home in the last twelve months: 21-35 to Leicester Tigers last April. Wasps' only victory in their last eight encounters in all competitions was 43-14 over London Irish at Adams Park earlier this month. The Wasps have not won an away game since they visited Rovigo in the European Challenge Cup last January. Northampton have won their last six fixtures with Wasps in all competitions, whilst Wasps' last victory at Franklin's Gardens came was in 2005.
Worcester Warriors v London Irish (Friday, 8.00pm)
Worcester Warriors are still seeking their first Aviva Premiership Rugby win since round 18 last season against relegated Newcastle. They've drawn twice at Sixways this season, and will be boosted by the two points from Northampton last weekend. The Warriors' last home win was against Saracens in February. London Irish opened their 2012/13 winning account at home to Bath on Saturday, but have not managed back to back victories since September last year. The Exiles have won just once on the road in any tournament in 2012: 25-16 in this equivalent match back in April. London Irish are unbeaten in their last eleven Premiership encounters with the Warriors, Worcester's most recent victory over Irish was way back in 2005 at the Madejski Stadium.
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs (Saturday, 2.15pm)
Unusually, Leicester Tigers have not scored a try for 166 minutes - their longest barren spell in the Premiership since November 2010. The Tigers' 9-22 home defeat to Harlequins on Saturday was only the sixth time in Premiership history that Leicester have come away from a game at Welford Road with no league points. Exeter Chiefs' last five games have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Chiefs have lost their last three away games. The Devonians achieved an outstanding Aviva Premiership Rugby double over the Tigers last season and are attempting to join a select band of clubs who have managed back to back Premiership victories at Welford.
Harlequins v Saracens (Sunday, 2.00pm)
Harlequins, the defending Aviva Premiership Rugby champions, have made the perfect start to their defence with five straight wins. Quins have lost just one Premiership encounter at the Twickenham Stoop since Saracens won there in round 22 of the 2010/11 campaign. Harlequins ended a five game losing run against Saracens with their 24-19 win at Wembley Stadium in March, whilst Saracens have won on four of their last five visits to The Stoop. First versus third - probably the Premiership's 'Match of the Day'.
London Welsh v Gloucester (Sunday, 3.00pm)
London Welsh have now recorded two successive Aviva Premiership Rugby victories. Including the Championship Final second leg against the Cormish Pirates which eventually saw them promoted, the Welsh record at their new Kassam Stadium home is two wins out of three. Gloucester Rugby are unbeaten in their last three encounters since their opening day defeat at home to Northampton. The two clubs have not clashed in competitive rugby since a 4th round tie in the Tetley's Bitter Cup at Old Deer Park on 3 January 1998 where Gloucester ran out 34-18 victors.
Spotlight on our game: Bath v Sale Sharks (Saturday, 2.15pm)
Bath Rugby have slipped to a pair of losing bonus point reversals to Northampton and London Irish in recent weeks. Bath have not suffered back to back defeats at The Rec. in the Aviva Premiership since last December.
Sale Sharks travel to The Rec. hoping that history can repeat itself. Last December, on the back of a disturbing second half demise against Exeter Chiefs, they made a disappointing start and were 10-nil down as half time approached.
The Sharks' revival after the break was an eye-opening forty minutes. The reliable boot of Nick Macleod and a try from Mark Cueto sealed a 16-13 win, the first half of a double against the South Western club which Bryan Redpath's men will be hoping can be repeated this time round.
Sharks will need to produce the forward power to match Bath's traditional scrum strength, and hope that their backs can sparkle on what will probably be a sodden pitch.
For Bath - now under the tenure of Gary Gold and Toby Booth - it's Olly Barkley's final game before he Channel hops. The respective kickers may well hold the key to the battle.
For away information at Bath, please visit the Away Games section of the Sale Sharks website.