The Saints - who thumped Heineken Cup rivals Castres 45-0 in their last outing - return to Aviva Premiership action in the Christmas Eve clash looking to find the form that took them into the play-off spots in November.
Bath head to Franklin's Gardens on a run of four straight defeats, but Mallinder is expecting Ian McGeechan's side to present a tough challenge despite their poor sequence.
"Regardless of results you cannot afford to take a team like Bath lightly," Mallinder stated.
"They have players who know what it takes to succeed at the highest level, including winning a World Cup, and Sir Ian McGeechan has coached successful teams wherever he has been.
"We were pleased with how we performed in the second half against Castres, but there have been plenty of things to work on from the first half and all the players have been working hard during the week to iron out their mistakes.
"It is a big match for both teams and we will need to be at our best to get a positive result."
Northampton make six changes from the side that beat Castres, with the banned Phil Dowson and Roger Wilson (elbow) returning to the back row.
George Pisi, Ryan Lamb, Lee Dickson and Soane Tonga'uiha are also handed starts.
Bath are strengthened by the return of Ross Batty, Andy Beattie, Ben Williams and Matt Carraro to their starting line-up for Saturday's clash.
Batty comes into the front row alongside David Flatman and David Wilson, with Dave Attwood and Ryan Caldwell continuing their partnership in the engine room.
Beattie takes up the blindside flank position, as Guy Mercer continues at openside and Francois Louw shifts to the back of the scrum at number 8. Simon Taylor is ruled out after picking up a knock against Leinster.
In the back division, Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald link up once again in the half backs, while Matt Banahan shifts to the wing with Carraro coming in on the opposite side.
Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Vasily Artemyev, 13 George Pisi, 12 James Downey, 11 Jamie Elliot, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley (capt), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Ben Nutley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Scott Armstrong.
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Ben Williams, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Francois Louw (c), 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 David Wilson, 2 Ross Batty, 1 David Flatman.Replacements: 16 Will Tanner, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Jack Cuthbert.
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