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Friday, 16 November, 2018

Hard-hitting Saracens fired up to snap losing run at Gloucester

Returning internationals a boost for visitors

Alex Lozowski came off the bench for England against Argentina and lines up for Saracens at Gloucester
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Aviva Premiership
BT Sport 1, 7.45pm Friday

Saracens' rich seam of international talent means they are often targeted in international breaks, but circumstances seem to be working in their favour for this trip to Kingsholm.

While Owen Farrell, Mako Vunipola, Jamie George and Maro Itoje are involved for England against Australia, fly-half Alex Lozowski and lock George Kruis have been deemed surplus to requirements and go straight into the Sarries starting line-up.

Others such as full-back Alex Goode and Scotland winger Sean Maitland had already been overlooked for their countries, and there's international experience throughout the side.

Two defeats in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, when the younger squad members were given their chance, may have forced Sarries' hand into going with as strong a team as possible, to prevent a blip becoming more of a concern.

Gloucester aren't anywhere near as inconvenienced although they do have injuries to contend with as well as having to do without Wales international Owen Williams.

The Cherry & Whites have bounced back from a 57-10 humiliation at Sale at the end of September to beat Northampton and Bath in their last two outings, and they seem to have developed more of a steely edge now coach Johan Ackermann has had time in his role.

Sarries have often been happy to do just enough, especially on the road, but this strong team may well have been picked with the intention of making a statement after those two defeats, and the visitors look strong enough to pull away.

It's derby night in the Anglo-Welsh Cup as Cardiff are five-point favourites at home to Ospreys while Scarlets again name a young team after last week's 40-0 home defeat to Exeter and get a nine-point start at Dragons.

Recommendation
Saracens -5
2pts 10-11 Sky Bet


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The Cherry & Whites have bounced back from a 57-10 humiliation at Sale at the end of September to beat Northampton and Bath in their last two outings
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