Skipper Dylan Hartley sees plenty of similarities between Saints and Sunday’s opponents Glasgow Warriors.
The two teams lock horns in the Heineken Cup opener at Franklin’s Gardens, aiming to land an early blow in the bid to qualify for the quarter-final stages.
Both have started well in their respective leagues this season, with Saints winning five out of six in the Aviva Premiership and Glasgow grabbing four from six in the RaboDirect PRO12.
And with pool 4 expected to be dominated by forward displays, the styles of the two sides can also be said to be comparable.
Hartley said: “Glasgow are similar to us aren’t they? They’ve won four of their six games, they’ve had a couple of really good away victories and they’ve had pretty good reviews up front.
“As a team they’re similar to ourselves and they’re not afraid of winning on the road so coming down here they’ll be full of confidence.
“We’ve just got make sure we see a reaction from last weekend’s defeat at London Irish and use the stadium and the crowd to get on top.”
An early warning shot across the bows of the Scots would show Jim Mallinder’s men mean business, with Castres and Ulster joining them in the pool stages of this season’s competition.
Hartley recognises the importance of winning all three home games but he knows his team have got a tough ask, especially with last season’s losing finalists on the fixture list.
“Ulster, we’ve come across them the season before last,” he said. “They were finalists last year, they’ll be hurting from that.
“Glasgow have got a good record so far and Castres, apparently you can’t beat them at home. It’s almost like the Premiership, there’s no easy games.
“It’s always important to win your home games if you want to challenge, and it starts this weekend.”