Saracens v Ospreys, Heineken Cup, Pool 5, Wembley Stadium
Sarries look to impress on big stage
ESPNscrum Staff
December 9, 2011
Saracens' John Smit scores on his debut, Saracens v Treviso, Heineken Cup, Vicarage Road, London, England, November 13, 2011
John Smit crashes over to score for Saracens against Treviso © Getty Images

Saracens return to Wembley Stadium on Saturday for a crunch Heineken Cup clash against Pool 5 rivals Ospreys.

The Premiership champions have graced English football's traditional home on six previous occasions with their only defeat coming at the hands of Leinster who claimed a narrow 25-23 victory in last season's Heineken Cup. That run at their rather spacious second home has seen them account for Northampton, Worcester, Wasps and South Africa with Ospreys the first Welsh visitors.

Sarries will be hoping to capitalise on the Ospreys' uncertainty on the road with the Welsh region having failed to win in six games away from home with the PRO12 side only just escaping a defeat in their last euro outing against Treviso that ended in a 26-all draw. Ospreys had previously accounted for Biarritz at home in their opening clash but trail Sarries on try count coming into this clash thanks to the Premiership side's thumping win over Treviso and narrow defeat to Biarritz in the opening two rounds.

Saracens - Player to Watch: All eyes will be on Peter Stringer if he is given his chance from the bench. Although vastly experienced with Munster, it will be interesting to see how he performs in unfamiliar surroundings.

Saracens - Team News: Sarries welcome back a host of well-known figures with Schalk Brits, Charlie Hodgson, Brad Barritt and Jacques Burger all starting. Alex Goode lines up at fullback with David Strettle and Chris Wyles on the wings with Barritt and Owen Farrell in the centres. Hodgson starts at fly-half alongside Ben Spencer. Rhys Gill, Brits and Matt Stevens start in the front-row while Steve Borthwick is alongside Mouritz Botha in the locks. Kelly Brown, Burger and Ernst Joubert form the back-row.

Ospreys - Player to Watch: It's hard to look past Shane Williams. After starring in his last ever Test for Wales, Williams will now turn his attention solely to his club side and as always promises to be an eye-catching player.

Ospreys - Team News: Richard Fussell starts at fullback with Tommy Bowe and Williams on the flanks. Andrew Bishop and Ashley Beck start in the centres with Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb at half-back. Duncan Jones, Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones are in the front-row with Ryan Jones and Jonathan Thomas in the second-row. Tom Smith captains the side at blindside alongside Justin Tipuric and Joe Bearman in the back-row.

Key Battle: Dan Biggar has shone for the Ospreys in recent times and will be up against the experience of Charlie Hodgson and the youthful exuberance of Owen Farrell. It promises to be an intriguing match-up.

Trivia: The Ospreys failed to reach the last eight for the first time in three years last season.

Stats: Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar is the leading points scorer in this season's competition with 36.

Quote Unquote:

"We are talking about running out at one of the best stadiums in Europe, if not the world, and you have to be excited about that. The last time we played there in the Heineken Cup we unfortunately lost to Leinster but we are all determined to put that right when we play the Ospreys on Saturday."
Jacques Burger calls on his side to get revenge at Wembley

"We came back and could see the boys walking around with smiles after beating Munster in the league. It's going to be tough to pick a team this weekend. I'm just enjoying my rugby. We're concentrating on getting ready for the match with Saracens. We've done a lot of analysis on them."
Ospreys flanker Justin Tipuric on the clash with Saracens

Prediction: Saracens to come away with the win and take charge of the pool.

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