Clinical Saracens hold the aces at Welford Road
Tigers struggling for consistency
Leicester v Saracens
BT Sport 1, 3pm
Scarlets v Cardiff
Sky Sports 2, 3pm
The pressure is piling on Leicester and in past seasons that was a cue to back them to come out fighting.
Defeat at Exeter last time out was another step back for the Tigers just a week after their battling victory over Munster had atoned for a crushing defeat in Limerick the week before.
It’s been a rollercoaster season for Leicester. Results away have contrasted starkly with their strong home record while director of rugby Richard Cockerill has come under fire. But it’s all familiar territory for the Tigers boss and he almost certainly wouldn’t be surprised if his players went out and made a mockery of their status as six-point handicap underdogs.
The problem is, though, that it isn’t heart or desire that have been lacking for Leicester, it’s accuracy and discipline, while against Exeter Cockerill complained his side simply weren’t clinical enough.
That’s a huge concern against Sarries, a team who pretty much set the standard on being clinical, while a raft of injuries to the Leicester backline doesn’t help at all.
This looks sure to be hard-fought, and may well be low-scoring given a wet forecast, putting a greater onus on cutting out errors and taking chances, and that makes Sarries look a decent bet to secure a narrow win.
Scarlets have a chance to break into the top four of the Pro12 if they overcome a Cardiff side with two wins in their last seven league outings.
The Blues get a six-point start for their trip to Parc y Scarlets, while also in the Pro12 the high-flying Ospreys are seven-point favourites for their trip to face the Dragons (BBC2 Wales, 5.05pm).
Saracens to win by one to 12 points
1pt 9-5 Coral
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Sarries have had to grind out wins in the Premiership of late and they look set to face a fired-up Leicester side who have come under fire for a patchy run of results.
These are two heavyweight sides with hard-working packs eager to prove themselves in an arm-wrestle, and that may well be what we get.
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