The Showdown returns as top-of-the-table Saracens look to extend their lead at the Premiership summit on Saturday as they host Harlequins at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The Men In Black were nigh on invincible coming into the end of 2022, but a slow start to the year could spell a window of opportunity for the visitors – though Harlequins themselves are struggling for form.
Nothing can deprive Sarries of a place in the top four with four rounds remaining, but eighth-placed Quins know they must put a good run together if they are to have any chance of extending their campaign beyond the regular season – and a win on Saturday would certainly be a statement of intent.
Saracens vs Harlequins Betting Tips
Saracens coach Mark McCall could have opted to rest some of his international stars following the conclusion of the Six Nations, with captain Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Jamie George all having played key roles, but all three have been selected to start.
Others, like Mako Vunipola and Nick Isiekwe, only made fleeting appearances from the bench and should be fresh for the encounter, though Isiekwe will start among the replacements.
Hugh Tizard is set to feature for Saracens against the club he left last summer.
The return of various names from national team commitments means Quins coach Tabai Matson has received a huge personnel boost when he most needs it. Marcus Smith, Joe Marchant, Cadan Murley, Jack Walker and Alex Dombrandt will all start after their time away with England.
Saracens to win -9.5 3-Way Handicap @ EVS
Despite a recent dip in form, Saracens are overwhelming favourites going into the clash in North London.
They have won all of their last 15 Premiership home games and their star quality should shine through even if an element of fatigue does linger after the Six Nations.
England’s performances and results were below par and those involved will understandably be keen to hit the ground running against a team who will be forced to take the game to Saracens, with their play-off hopes hanging by a thread.
What’s more, though Sarries’ play-off place is sealed, they still need two points from their remaining games to secure home advantage in the semi-finals; victory on Saturday afternoon will do just that.
Additionally, history favours Mark McCall’s team. Quins have not beaten Saracens in a Premiership game since January 2020 – that’s six meetings in a row that have all gone the way of this weekend’s hosts.
Double Result Saracens-Saracens @ 4/6
The sooner Saracens get the job done on Saturday, the sooner they can go about preparing for their Champions Cup clash with Ospreys on April 4, so a fast start should be expected for the home team.
Quins have just one win from seven Premiership fixtures and have not won away since a 19-13 victory at Bath back at the start of December.
Only twice all season – once in the win at Bath and at Sale in October – have they led at half-time, suggesting the hosts will face little resistance in the early stages.
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