Preview: Leicester Tigers v Munster

Date published: December 18 2015

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Leicester Tigers will look to continue their undefeated run when they host Munster at Welford Road on Sunday.

The Tigers have made two changes to their line-up for the fixture, with Australia's Peter Betham being named alongside Matt Smith at cente.

Staying in the backline, Freddie Burns takes over at fly-half for Owen WIlliams, who injured his knee last week.

Meanwhile, Munster head coach Anthony Foley makes three changes to the side that suffered defeat to Leicester last Saturday in Thomond Park.

All three changes are in the pack with Mike Sherry and John Ryan joining James Cronin in the front-row while Mark Chisholm starts in the second-row with Donnacha Ryan.

An unchanged backline sees Conor Murray and Ian Keatley in the half-backs, with Denis Hurley and Francis Saili in midfield and completing the back three are Simon Zebo, Keith Earls and Andrew Conway.

With BJ Botha continuing to follow return to play protocols for a concussion sustained last weekend Uruguayan international Mario Sagario is named in the replacements in his first Champions Cup match-day squad.

Form: All four meetings between these sides that have been at the home of one of the teams (excluding the 2002 final) have been won by the away side. Leicester have won 26 and drawn two of their last 29 matches on home turf in the Champions Cup, their only loss coming against an Irish opponent (Ulster). Munster have won five of their last eight away fixtures in the Champions Cup despite losing their last two such games. Munster have averaged just 60 completed tackles per game so far, fewer than any other side in the competition. Brendon O'Connor has won more turnovers than any other player this season (7). Munster are one of just five sides yet to be awarded a yellow or red card in this campaign. When Munster last visited England they suffered their heaviest ever defeat in an away game against English opposition, losing 33-10 to Saracens. This is the first time Leicester have faced Irish opposition in the back to back round 3 and 4 fixtures of European rugby since 2004, when they beat Ulster at home and lost on the road. Tigers have won six of 10 home games against Irish opposition in the Champions Cup, including three of the last four games.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Telusa Veainu, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Peter Betham, 12 Matt Smith, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Lachlan McCaffrey, 7 Brendon O'Connor, 6 Ed Slater, 5 Graham Kitchener, 4 Michael Fitzgerald, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Matias Aguero, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Dom Barrow, 20 Tom Croft, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Thomas Bell, 23 Seremaia Bai.

Munster: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Denis Hurley, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Dave O'Callaghan, 6 Robin Copeland, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Mark Chisholm, 3 John Ryan, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Mario Sagario, 19 Dave Foley, 20 Jack O'Donoghue, 21 Tomas O'Leary, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Lucas Amorosino.

Date: Sunday, December 20
Venue: Welford Road
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant Referees: Thomas Charabas (France), Salem Attalah (France)
TMO: Jean-Marie Piraveau (France)

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