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Aviva Premiership Match Preview: Saracens vs. Northampton

Saracens play host to Aviva Premiership leaders Northampton at Vicarage Road this afternoon, for what is by far the most exciting showdown of the weekend

With the Saints at the top of the Premiership table, and remaining the only unbeaten side this year, Sarries will be desperate to knock them off their perch.

Saracens have named Nils Mordt as fullback in place of Alex Goode, while Kelly Brown replaces Justin Melck in the back row. Mouritz Botha comes into the starting line-up as lock.

Saints are set to hand a debut to both lock Mark Sorenson, as well as Calum Clark in the back row.

Paul Diggin and Joe Ansbro also make their first starts of the season in place of Chris Ashton and Courtney Lawes- who are both being rested

Whilst many would put the Saints as Premiership favourites this season, especially after last week’s dominant display against log powerhouse Bath.

Saracens' only defeat in their last seven Premiership matches has been to London Irish at Twickenham in the first round.

Couple this with the statistic of Sarries having won their last three home matches, and one begins to see just how epic this encounter could actually be.

Saracens: Mordt; Strettle, Ratuvou, Barritt, Wyles; Hougaard, de Kock; Carstens, Reynecke, Nieto, Borthwick (capt), Botha, Brown, Burger, Joubert

Northampton: Foden; Diggin, Ansbro, Downey, Reihana; Geraghty, Dickson; Tonga'uiha, Hartley (capt), Mujati, Sorenson, Day, Clark, Wood, Dowson.

With Saracens having won their two most recent visits to Franklin's Gardens, as well as boasting the best record of any visiting side to Northampton, (seven Premiership wins there over the years), Saracens head into this match as deserved favourites.

However, Northampton will be using today's clash as a measuring stick as to just how far Saints have come this season

As an indication as to how close the bookies are in fact calling this, can be seen by the victory margin odds. A Sarries win by 1-5 is at 5.5, with a Saints win by the same margin set at 6.0

This game will be a tightly fought contest between two potential Premiership winners.

It is difficult to call this one on ability alone, with both sides oozing class and potential, both up front as well as in the backline.

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