Saracens vs Connacht Prediction: Sarries to storm past Irish visitors

 | December 16 | 

3 mins read

Rugby Union Generic

Saracens were on the wrong end of a 27-16 defeat to Bulls in the opening round of the Champions Cup and will have Connacht in their sights on Saturday.

The travel, heat and altitude were all against Sarries as they travelled to Pretoria. That is before even considering their injury issues and indiscipline, resulting in two yellow cards and a red.

Connacht were also on the wrong end of the scoreline last week, losing 41-5 at home to Bordeaux, and are now playing catch-up in the battle to qualify from Pool 1.

The pair have not met since the 2013-14 season. Saracens won both matches, triumphing 64-6 at home, and should produce another decent win on Saturday.

Saracens vs Connacht Betting Tips:

  • Saracens Handicap -17/5 @ EVS

Match Odds

Saracens are just 1/12 to get the victory on Saturday, with Connacht 17/2 and a tie 33/1.

The hosts are 33/1 to win by over 50 points, as they did a decade ago, while they are 10/11 carrying a -16 handicap.

Team News

Saracens have made four changes from their defeat in South Africa, notably versatile forward Theo McFarland coming in at lock for Hugh Tizard.

Aled Davies replaces Ivan van Zyl at scrum-half, while Olly Hartley is selected in the centre in place of Elliot Daly and Lucio Cinti is on the right wing.

Meanwhile, Billy Vunipola is available to play despite being sent off against Bulls.

Connacht have made nine changes from their loss to Bordeaux, with winger Shayne Bolton listed to make his first start of the season.

Fly-half Jack Carty will captain the side on the occasion of his 200th appearance for the province.

Saracens handicap -17.5 @ EVS

Saracens head into this game looking to restore their pride after also losing 18-12 at home to Northampton in the Premiership.

Mark McCall was criticised in some quarters for not rotating his squad for the long trip to Pretoria but a look at his squad list shows injuries have really started to bite.

However, Sarries' depth is such that they can still name a starting side featuring 13 internationals and McCall will be calling on his big guns to perform.

They take on a Connacht side who last month did the almost unthinkable by winning a URC game away in South Africa.

JJ Hanrahan's 66th-minute penalty sealed a 13-12 victory against Sharks in Durban but they lost their next match 53-27 to Bulls.

That was their third away defeat in four games stretching back to last season and while they have lost their last two matches at home, they always look a better side on their own patch in Galway.

Saracens, three-time winners of this tournament, are due a big showing and Connacht could prove to be the perfect opponent.

Visiting coach Peter Wilkins' wholesale changes show how unhappy he was with last Friday's display and while the alterations could prompt a response, the English champions should still prove too good.

Saracens -17.5 handicap vs Connacht at EVS

Check out the rest of our Rugby Union Betting Tips here.

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