Glasgow Warriors and Saracens will play out a Battle of Britain affair when the Champions Cup gets back underway this weekend.
If the competition so far is anything to go by then it’s sure to be an entertaining weekend, with six teams in action Saturday before Racing 92 face Toulouse on Sunday in an all-French affair.
While that may interest more due to Racing’s second place finish last season and the Battle of France title, it’s the clash between two of Britain’s best teams that most interests us.
Warriors are at this stage of the competition just a year after failing to get out of their pool.
Saracens make it to the quarters a year after bowing out at the same stage – with eventual 2018 champions Leinster beating them 30-19.
Leinster are in the mix again this season, facing Ulster this weekend in an Irish battle that just adds to the intrigue around the quarter-final stage.
But with Warriors and Saracens, we have a game with considerable spice that could create history for both teams.Embed from Getty Images
Just this week Glasgow made claims of gamesmanship from their previous two meetings with Saracens this season – which were rejected by rival coach Mark McCall. That’s bound to lead to some strong tackles in Saturday’s game.
As for the history, Saracens won back to back Champions Cups in 2016 and then 2017, but have fallen short over recent seasons.
For Warriors, they’ve never won Europe’s premier competition – failing to go beyond the quarter-final stage in their history.
Significantly, they’ve lost to Saracens at this stage on the last three occasions they’ve made it and they should be well aware of that going into this game.
Warriors can be positive about the prospect of star full-back Stuart Hogg returning to their team for the weekend’s game.
He’s not played since injuring his shoulder in Scotland’s Six Nations defeat to Ireland last month.
But, according to coach Dave Rennie, he’s close to a return and Hogg lining up should strike fear into Saracens.
Going by 888sport.com’s rugby bets, Saracens are 1/10 favourites to beat Glasgow, who are priced at 23/4 – that shows just how tough the task will be for the Scottish side.
But in a one-off game with national pride at stake – and with the devastating 38-38 Six Nations draw between Scotland and England fresh in the memory – you can bet Warriors will be a lot more competitive than the pre-match billing suggests.