Fiddes' Cent

Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes previews this weekend's Aviva Premiership action and tells us where the smart money will be going

By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @SkyJordanFiddes.   Last Updated: 01/03/13 11:16pm

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Ugo Monye didn't score last weekend, can he cross against the Chiefs?

Ugo Monye didn't score last weekend, can he cross against the Chiefs?

Sky Bet

With the RBS Six Nations returning to the shelf again this weekend, all eyes are on the Aviva Premiership as the competition heads into a crucial stage.

The performances of the returning internationals will have a huge bearing on the results this week and there is already a bit of value to be had with the bookmakers.

Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes return for Northampton for their clash with London Irish at Franklin's Gardens and I'm expecting them to make a huge impact.

Both played 50 minutes for their country last Saturday so they shouldn't be too fatigued after that game against the French.

With Lawes in their side, Northampton have won over 65% of their games and have an excellent record over The Exiles.

In 38 games against each other, the Saints have won 24 of them and scored a massive 102 tries along the way.

They have been given an 11 point start for the game on Saturday but I'm expecting them to cover this comfortably.

Last year, Northampton produced an excellent performance away from home against Irish in February last year and with the returning England players coupled with the Chris Hala'ufia's suspension for the Exiles, the odds swing massively in Northampton's favour.

Hala'ufia's 6 ft 4" frame and wealth of experience will be a big loss for London Irish who win more games when he is in the side.

Returning hero

While absences will prove detrimental to Irish, it's a returning figure for Harlequins which will give them a boost against Exeter on Saturday.

Nick Evans will play his first game after recovering from an ankle injury and will replace Ben Botica in the starting line-up.

Evans has kicked 219 penalties in his five-year spell at the club and they have only lost 29 games with him in the side since his debut.

He has scored 11 tries in 82 appearances for the club and is a nice 2/1 to score anytime this weekend.

I'm expecting Evans to have such an impact that Harlequins will cover the -12 handicap against a team that has won just twice in their last six games.

In the head-to-heads, these two are pretty even, however the Quins have scored nearly twice as many tries against their opponents and with Ugo Monye on the wing for Quins, I'm expecting this stat to get even more one-sided.

Monye averages nearly a try every other game for the Twickenham Stoop side and, as he didn't score last weekend, his odds of 8/1 to score the first try on Saturday are very appealing for me in this one.

View from the Trading Room...

"Harlequins have been very popular with our punters already.

Not only are they expecting the London side to cover the handicap, they also think they will go beyond that in the 'Alternative Handicap' market.

Harlequins -18 at 15/8 has seen the most action so far.

It seems that our customers are expecting lots of tries again this weekend as Leicester have been heavily backed by our shrewd punters on the -15 handicap.

With Tom Croft captaining the side and Matthew Tait back in the line-up, Leicester's handicap could yet increase come Saturday afternoon."

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