Saracens may have several key players on international duty but Worcester Warriors fly-half Andy Goode is under no illusions as to the size of the task his side face on Friday.
The visitors are still unable to call on Chris Ashton, Mouritz Botha, Mako Vunipola, Alex Goode, Brad Barritt and Owen Farrell, who are part of Stuart Lancaster’s England squad for the autumn internationals, with Schalk Brits among those also called up for other Test sides.
It was a similar story last season when the two sides met with Saracens weakened due to players involved with the Six Nations, and the Warriors triumphing 16-11.
But Goode is still adamant his side are in for a fight and cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
“Sarries are coming to town and they have some players missing on international duty but they’re a very good side with a great squad,” said Goode.
“They’ve still got quality players. John Smit and Alistair Hargreaves are two players I played with at the Sharks in South Africa and I know all about.
“They’ve also got Richard Wigglesworth and Neil de Kock. They have quality throughout and will put out a strong team.
“We played them last year during the Six Nations when they were missing a few and it was a good game which we managed to win. We know it will be tough.”
Saracens head into the game on the back of a four-match Aviva Premiership winning streak and currently sit second in the table having edged London Wasps 29-24 last time out.
The Warriors are in mixed form three with defeats in their last five Aviva Premiership games, and an experimental outfit went down 28-19 to Wasps in the LV= Cup on Sunday.
And despite being labelled as a one-dimensional team, Goode insists Saracens have far more strings to their bow.
“We know they’re a powerful outfit. Everyone talks about their pressure game, that they kick-and-chase well, but when you analyse them they’ve got much more to their game,” added Goode.
“There are positive noises coming out of Saracens. They like doing things differently and will be tough to beat.
“People pigeonhole them but we know they can throw it around. We’ll have to weather the storm.
“They beat Wasps last time out and Wasps thought they could have got more out of it. We’ve done our analysis and we’re sure in the way we’re going to play and attack them.”
Saracens winger James Short added after last week’s LV= Cup defeat to Sale Sharks: “I think we can definitely bounce back our next game against Worcester. We take each game as it comes and we’ll work on things for that match.”
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth (55th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Robin Goodliffe.