Preview: Saracens v Sale

Date published: December 12 2014

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Saracens have made one change to their side to face Sale Sharks at Allianz Park in Saturday’s European Champions Cup clash

Chris Wyles comes into the starting XV to take his place at outside centre at the expense of Charlie Hodgson, who takes his place on the bench.

Owen Farrell shifts to fly-half, partnering Richard Wigglesworth in the halves.

Saracens centre Duncan Taylor believes Saracens head into their do-or-die clash in a buoyant mood after their 15-19 win against the Sharks last weekend.

“It’s been very positive this week at training. We were coming off the back of a couple of losses before last week’s game, so it was important for us to get the result, so last weekend’s win was huge for us. It’s been a really positive camp this week,” said Taylor.

On Saturday’s opposition, the Scotland international added: “Sale are a very strong side. Their set-piece is outstanding and they scored a try from a driving maul against us last weekend, and have scored a couple against us earlier on this season from their maul. We know that we can’t gift them field position as they have the ability to hurt any side.

“They’ve got a good platform, and have some pretty dangerous backs. They’re a good side going really well and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Nathan Hines returns to the Sale Sharks line up for the first time since September when he injured his bicep at Gloucester.

Captain Dan Braid also returns from his week off to lead the side.

Form: Saracens made it eight wins in a row against Sale with a 19-15 win at the AJ Bell Stadium last weekend. They have won both meetings between the sides this season, including a 40-19 win at Allianz Park in the league. Saracens are third in Pool One, but trail leaders Clermont by just one point. Sale have now lost three out of three in Europe this year, and their last win in Europe’s top competition came in October 2012 against Cardiff.

The teams:

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Chris Wyles, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 David Strettle, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jacques Burger, 6 Kelly Brown, 5 Alistair Hargreaves (c), 4 George Kruis, 3 Petrus du Plessis, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 James Johnston, 19 Jim Hamilton, 20 Jackson Wray, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Ben Ransom

Sale: 15 Michael Haley, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Will Addison, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick MacLeod, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 Dan Braid (c), 6 Mark Easter, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Nathan Hines, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Shalva Mamukashvili, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 James Flynn, 19 Jon Mills, 20 Andrew Hughes, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Andy Forsyth

Date: Saturday, 13 December
Venue: Allianz Park, Barnet
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Referee: J

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