Heineken Cup Previews
TODAY Pool One Edinburgh v Saracens,Murrayfield (1.35, Sky Sports, red button)
Last season’s beaten semi-finalists Edinburgh will be hoping to get a good start to the campaign. The Scottish side like to play a wide game and in Tim Visser have a potent finisher. Charlie Hodgson gives Saracens more variety and subtlety but it might not be enough.
EDINBURGH: T Brown; L Jones, N De Luca, M Scott, T Visser; G Laidlaw, R Rees; J Yapp, R Ford, W Nel; G Gilchrist, S Cox; D Denton, R Rennie, S McInally.
SARACENS: A Goode; C Ashton, J Tomkins, B Barritt, D Strettle; C Hodgson, R Wigglesworth; M Vunipola, S Brits, M Stevens; S Borthwick, M Botha; K Brown, W Fraser, J Wray.
Clermont Auvergne v Scarlets,Stade Marcel Michelin (3.40, Sky Sports red button)
The French side boast a truly stunning playing roster but Simon Easterby will encourage his Scarlets to utilise the talents of a super backline and backrow. The Welsh side look a little short of power in tight five.
CLERMONT AUVERGNE: L Byrne; S Sivivatu, A Rougerie, W Fofana, N Nalaga; B James, M Parra; T Domingo, B Kayser, D Zirakashvili; J Cudmore, N Hines; G Vosloo, J Bonnaire, D Chouly.
SCARLETS: L Williams; G North, J Davies, S Williams, M Stoddart; R Priestland, T Knoyle; P John, M Rees, S Lee; G Earle, J Snyman; A Shingler, J Turnbull, R McCusker.
Verdict: Clermont Auvergne
Harlequins v Biarritz Olympique,The Stoop (6.0, live on Sky Sports 1)
Conor O’Shea was furious with his side’s performance in their league defeat to the Exeter Chiefs last weekend and so it’s reasonable to expect a backlash this evening. Biarritz have opted to keep a number of front-line players on the bench. Harlequins should have more than enough in hand to claim victory.
HARLEQUINS: M Brown; T Williams, M Hopper, J Turner-Hall, U Monye; N Evans, D Care; J Marler, R Buchanan, J Johnston; O Kohn, G Robson; M Fa’asavalu, C Robshaw, N Easter.
BIARRITZ OLYMPIQUE: I Balshaw; T Ngwenya, D Haylett-Petty, S Burotu, A Brew; M Berquist, Y Lesgourgues; F Barcella, A Heguy, F Gomez Kodela; E Lund, T Dubarry; M Lund, W Lauret, T Gray.
Northampton v Glasgow Warriors,Franklin’s Gardens (12.45, live on Sky Sports 1)
The Saints had been in good form until last weekend when they were thumped by London Irish. The home side should have a little bit too much power up front and that will take its toll, especially when they have a strong bench as well.