Saracens will step into the lion’s den when they travel to the Aviva stadium tomorrow to face Munster in the Champions Cup semi-final.
Mark McCall’s side know they’ll be up against in Dublin- with Munster fans expected to make the stadium a sea of red. However, Saracens have been in fantastic form of late, with the return of the England internationals providing a much-needed boost in recent weeks.
Six of these players were selected for the British & Irish Lions tour this week, and Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Billy Vunipola all start this weekend.
Unbeaten in their last 16 Champions Cup games, the reigning champions have certainly dominated the European rugby scene in recent years. Winger Chris Ashton’s recent form will have impressed many, and the 30-year-old needs one try to become the outright top try scorer in European Cup history this weekend.
Meanwhile, Munster will have been dealt a huge blow this week, with Lions scrum-half Conor Murray will miss the game with an ongoing shoulder/neck problem.
However, fans will be buoyed by the return of CJ Stander, who was also named in Warren Gatland’s squad. The back-rower has made 114 carries this season, a significant achievement when no other player has made more than 100 carries so far in the competition.
The stats also say Munster are the best defensive team in Europe, but I don’t think Saracens will struggle to break them down this weekend.
The Irish team faced a gruelling, physical encounter against their title-rivals Ulster last weekend, and that may show in the later stages tomorrow.
I’m backing a Saracens win half-time/full-time. The English club are flying, and many of the English players will be determined to rid of their Grand Slam nightmare at the Aviva stadium.
Back Saracens half-time/full-time at 2.13 with Sportsbet.io.