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Saracens v Harlequins – Nothing to stop favourites making final

| 17.05.2014

Last season Saracens won the league and then lost in the semi-final but nothing suggests a repeat is on the cards as Mark McCall’s all-conquering side continue to go from strength to strength.

The 2/7 favourites topped the table with nine points to spare from nearest pursuers Northampton and with a Heineken Cup final to look forward to before the end of the month they will be fully focused on remaining on the boil across both fronts.

The price will put many off but it’s a fair reflection of where the team is compared to their opponents who finished the regular season a full 20 points adrift.

Furthermore, the last meeting between the pair, under two months ago, ended in a comprehensive win for the home side where they ran riot in the first half to set-up a comfortable 39-17 triumph.

That result is fresh enough in the memory to play a part in Saturday’s match and a price of 10/11 that the home side cover an eight point handicap is more than reasonable.

Some could point to their latest performance when seriously undercooked against Leicester but any criticism needs to be immediately tempered by the fact they had just won the biggest game of the season last time against Clermont and had everything sewn up in the league.

That 46-6 hammering of last year’s Heineken Cup runners-up was a genuine statement of the level Saracens are now operating at, one that Harlequins are not in touching distance of.

There is also a concern for Quins fans that their team is nowhere near as well suited to the big occasion as their hosts, especially when travelling on the road.

Conor O’Shea’s men have lost their last three matches on their travels against the other teams in the top-four and were also turned over when faced with Clermont in Auvergne.

Everything points to Saracens submitting another successful page in their season and they should be backed to do it with something to spare.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster