Dan Carter will become the 26th international player to reach 100 caps when New Zealand run out at Twickenham but England must forget sentiment and attack the fly-half if they are to repeat last year’s 38-21 victory.
The odds are well and truly stacked against Stuart Lancaster’s side, who are without the services of Manu Tuilagi, Mako Vunipola, Alex Corbisiero, Marlon Yarde, Christian Wade and Henry Trinder, as they take on an All Blacks side who are undefeated in 2013.
But the Red Rose can take huge heart from 12 months ago when they put the current world champions to the sword and that victory could well provide the blueprint for another famous scalp.
It’s hard to forget how Tuilagi blasted through Carter to set up Chris Ashton for the home side’s second try of the afternoon that day, and while the All Blacks can breathe a sigh of relief at not having to take on the Leicester centre again, England’s big men should target the Kiwi number 10.
Billy Twelvetrees, Joel Tomkins, Billy Vunipola and Courtney Lawes should all be licking their lips at the prospect of running straight at the New Zealand poster boy and if the men in white shirts can start off-loading in the tackle it will build excellent momentum going forward.
Putting the mercurial Carter on the back foot is key to toppling the All Blacks and England, who have built up to this fixture with successive wins over Australia and Argentina, have the strength and power throughout their team to create problems.
It’s 5/1 with Ladbrokes that England, who have only outscored New Zealand in the try count four times in 35 attempts stretching back to 1905, can repeat their success of a year ago but the smart bet lies in the handicap markets.
There is no doubt that the hosts will put up a huge fight at HQ and backing Chris Robshaw’s side at 5/4 to beat the All Blacks with an 11 point head start could be the smart move this weekend.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.