Exeter could make Aviva Premiership history on Saturday when they look to continue a relentless run of victories.
A bonus-point win against Sandy Park visitors Northampton would see Exeter become the first Premiership club to claim seven successive five-point maximums, underlining their imperious current form.
The second-placed Chiefs are unbeaten in league action since late October and nine points from their remaining two regular season games — Northampton, and then Gloucester away — would guarantee a home playoff tie next month.
“What I am really pleased about is the way the players have responded to what we have asked them to do,” Exeter head coach Rob Baxter said.
“All we’ve said to them is that we want them to keep their future and their destiny in their own hands. At the moment, things are in our hands as to whether we get a home semifinal.
“We are fighting hard to try [to] get a home game in the playoffs, while Northampton are fighting flat out because, mathematically, they can still get in the top four.
“If they don’t do that, obviously they will be desperate to get into that top six because they are a regular [European] Champions Cup team and it means a lot to them to remain in that competition.
“If you look at their last three games in particular, they’ve been real heartbreakers for them, even though they have played very well.
“Yes, you can say form and momentum is with us but, if you look at Northampton’s performances, other than losing late on, they are on pretty good form.
“Right now, we are knocking off challenges one game at a time, the attitude of the squad is fantastic and we are looking to really kick on.
“Every week I keep asking the guys to be excited and not worry too much about things or how it may all slip away.
“Instead, I just want them to go out and make sure they take this opportunity with both hands. If you do that, then I am a big believer you give yourself a greater chance of success.”