The blockbuster clash between Leicester Tigers and Saracens is one to get the juices flowing – but Laurence Pearce says cool heads are the order of the day at Allianz Park.
Saracens’ record at the ground is formidable – their only defeat in any tournament since November 2014 on home turf is the defeat to Exeter Chiefs in May.
But either home or away it’s tough to stop Saracens, who are yet to be defeated this season and capped 2015 with a superb 26-16 win at Wasps.
Tigers however have made great strides this season too – they are currently third in Aviva Premiership Rugby after winning seven straight matches in all competitions – and No.8 Pearce sees no reason why Leicester’s own formula can’t stop Saracens.
"It will be interesting. They are undefeated and we haven't won there before,” said Pearce.
"It is a big game. We aren't making too much of it, but we are making the right amount of it. If we play the rugby that we want to play then we can have a good go at them.
"It is a difficult place to go. They can squeeze you at home with the style of rugby they play.
"They wait for people to make mistakes and are known for being ruthless in defence and making big tackles which stops their opponents getting on the front foot."
Saracens have a good record over Leicester, as Richard Cockerill’s troops have only won once in their seven encounters – a 31-27 triumph in 2013/14.
Leicester scored four tries that day, but Saracens have conceded just five tries in Aviva Premiership Rugby all season as well as remaining a threat to the opposition try-line.
And director of rugby Mark McCall has refuted any charge that his side are ‘boring’ as they seek to keep up their unbeaten run.
“The criticism is a bit unfair but, honestly, we're not terribly bothered,” said McCall. “We're very comfortable in ourselves and we've scored 41 tries in 11 games, so it doesn't stand up to much scrutiny.
“There's a bit of beauty in defence and pressurising opposition — as there's beauty in scoring tries and moving the ball. If boring is having continuity with happy players and happy staff, then maybe we are.
“That's a far cry from where we were six years ago, when people were coming in and out of the door. Six years ago nobody cared about Saracens because they were ninth.”
Allianz Park, 3.15pm – Live on BT Sport
Referee: Greg Garner (88th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix & Peter Huckle.
TMO: Graham Hughes.