Sarries likely to try and blitz struggling Wasps in first half
Visitors unsettled by poor run and injury woes
BT Sport 1, 3pm Sunday
Wasps topped the Premiership table last season, losing the Grand Final in extra time, so to see them going to Saracens with an 18-point handicap start may come as something of a surprise.
But there are two sets of alarm bells ringing at the Ricoh Arena as Wasps have lost their last three games and are suffering from a mounting injury list.
Wasps were last season's top tryscorers with 89 in their 22 games, but they drew a blank in defeat to Bath at home last weekend and their lack of creativity, with fly-half Danny Cipriani, Kyle Eastmond and Willie le Roux all injured on top of the summer departure of Kurtley Beale, was all too apparent.
Le Roux returns at full-back but now Jimmy Gopperth is injured so Rob Miller, more used to playing at 15, wears the number ten shirt and powerhouse ball-carrier Nathan Hughes is also out with a dead leg.
It should all point to an easy home win for Sarries, but easy is how Sarries seem to like it as they have not looked to stretch themselves in recent fixtures.
They blew away Northampton in the first half of their first match and all of their four victories have been by more than 20 points, but they have never looked to repeat that devastating opening salvo against the Saints.
With the defence of their European crown looming, Sarries would no doubt be happy with a routine victory and may well ease up and use their bench in the latter stages. Owen Farrell is among the replacements but otherwise the hosts have a strong team out and will probably rest some limbs in the second half.
Sarries's seven-try burst in the first half against Northampton shows just how exciting they can be and against an unsettled Wasps side a double-figure half-time lead looks highly likely.
Saracens -8 on half-time handicap
4pts 10-11 Betfred, Hills
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