Sale Sharks play host to Northampton Saints at the AJ Bell Stadium in their Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final tie on Thursday night.

Sale go into the game following a narrow victory over Bath in the Aviva Premiership, but captain and flanker Dan Braid and winger Mark Cueto suffered injuries in the warm-up to Friday’s match.

As for the Saints, they are in a run of poor form at the moment, with their defeat to Leicester Tigers last week their third loss in a row which has also seen them lose top spot to Saracens.

Northampton lost their captain before half-time against the Tigers through injury, with flanker Phil Dowson leading the visitors in the absence of England international Dylan Hartley.

In the Amlin Challenge cup, Sale topped Pool 1 with five wins and just one defeat to qualify as the fourth seed for the quarter-finals in their search for their first European trophy since 2005.

The Saints dropped down from the main European competition - the Heineken Cup - after finishing as third best second-placed team.

The two sides are among a six-strong English contingent in the quarter-finals, with the winner facing either Stade Français or Harlequins in the semis who play on Friday.

The final will be held at the Cardiff Arms Park on the May 23.

Line-ups:

Sale Sharks: Arscott, Brady, Forsyth, Jennings, Miller, Macleod, Cliff, Harrison, Taylor, Thomas, Ostrikov, Kulemin, Gaskell (capt), Easter, Fahiki.

Replacements: Jones, Croall, Buckley, Mills, Paterson, Fowles, Ford, Mackenzie.

Northampton Saints: Foden, K. Pisi, Wilson, Stephenson, Autagavaia, Hooley, Dickson, Waller, McMillan, Merey, Dickinson, Craig, Dowson (capt), Nutley, Van Velze.

Replacements: Williams, Hobbs-Awoyemi, Denman, Day, Harrison, Fotuali’i, Waldouck, Elliot.

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Topics:
Sale Sharks
Northampton Saints
Rugby Union