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Match preview: Tigers versus Saracens

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Leicester Tigers kick off a new year with a home fixture against Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens on Sunday (3pm).

Saracens, the defending Aviva Premiership and European champions, travel to Welford Road on top of the league table with nine wins from the opening 11 rounds. After defeat at Exeter on Christmas Eve, Tigers are in fifth place as they chase a place in the knockout stages of the season.
The two clubs have met on 81 previous occasions, with Tigers winning 54 to 21 by Sarries and six games drawn.
There have been 10 previous New Year’s Day fixtures at Welford Road dating back to 1894. The most recent was in 2012, when Tigers beat Sale Sharks 28-23 with Geordan Murphy and Alesana Tuilagi among the try-scorers. Click here for all the details from that afternoon.
This Sunday, Tigers welcome club captain Tom Youngs back into the starting line-up as well as Ben Youngs and Dan Cole, though JP Pietersen is added to the injury list after surgery on a torn arm muscle. Logovi’i Mulipola is also missing after suffering a twisted knee at Exeter last weekend.
Sarries include new signing Will Skelton and former Tigers forward Jim Hamilton in their matchday 23, but England lock George Kruis misses out due to a facial injury. Chris Ashton returns to the starting line-up after making a try-scoring return from suspension off the bench in last weekend's win over Newcastle Falcons.

Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said: “Against Saracens you have to be spot-on physically and we’re looking forward to the challenge. We know we are a good side – we know that when we get it right we can compete with anyone.”
Referee on Saturday is JP Doyle.
For a full matchday guide, click here.
Tickets are still available, with more than 24,000 sold in advance. Book in person at the Welford Road ticket office or phone 0116 319 8888 (option 2)(open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday and from 9am on matchday this weekend). Or click here to book online any time.