Dom Waldouck believes the fact Sale are bottom of the Aviva Premiership shows how competitive the league is this season.
The Saints centre is hoping to help his side pile more misery on the Sharks at the Salford City Stadium on Friday night.
Sale have won just one of their nine league games this season, with the home win against London Irish on November 2 the sole victory.
Their aim will be survival, while title hopefuls Saints are among a group of eight teams separated by just six points, with Harlequins top on 29 points and Wasps eighth on 23.
And Waldouck admits things couldn’t be much tougher this year, a statement illustrated by the predicament a Sale side containing the likes of Danny Cipriani and Rob Miller currently face.
“If you look at the bottom side Sale, who we’ve got on Friday, their starting line-up is littered with world-class players throughout the board,” said the former Wasps man.
“It just shows what a good competition it is and any week top can beat bottom, bottom can beat top. You have to be on your money every week.
“You rarely see games where sides really pull away and it’s always very tight. It’s always a very tight competition.”
Saints will need all their firepower to avoid slipping to defeat against the Sharks this weekend, and they will be boosted by the return of former Sale man Ben Foden.
The England star has missed the past 10 Northampton games and Waldouck is looking forward to welcoming him back.
“He’s a world-class player so it’s always good to bring those guys back in the team,” he said.
“It’s one of the reasons I came to this club, because there’s quality littered around the team and it’s great to be playing rugby with those guys, so I’m excited about that as well.”