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Saracens vs Harlequins: Three key head-to-heads to watch out for

After a long eight week hiatus, the Premiership is back!

There are plenty of great games on show this weekend, but this clash of London rivals should be the match everyone tunes in for.

After a long eight week hiatus, the Premiership is back!

There are plenty of great games on show this weekend, but this clash of London rivals should be the match everyone tunes in for.

Saracens thumped Quins at the Stoop earlier in the year, but since then the Twickenham side have surged up the table and are now a point above their city rivals.

With the race for the playoffs so tight this season, both sides will know a win will be crucial in helping them get some breathing room over the chasing pack, but also put a huge dent in their opponents chances too.

There are also plenty of mouth-watering head-to-heads on show that have wider international connotations too, and with that in mind here are three key match ups to keep an eye on.

Saracens vs Harlequins: Three key head-to-heads

Owen Farrell vs Marcus Smith

The pair have battled it out for a spot in the England team for years, but it’s also one of the best head-to-heads in the Premiership.

Whilst Saracens haven’t been their usual dominant selves this season, Owen Farrell has been as solid as ever. He is the ultimate game controller, and will be looking to kick Quins to death.

Whilst Farrell is your typical controlling fly-half, Smith is a maverick player who thrives in chaos. He is such a threat at the line, and can either put his teammates through a whole or run through it himself.

Billy Vunipola vs Alex Dombrandt

Similar to their fly-halves, Vunipola and Dombrandt have been battling it out for the England eight shirt for the past few years and will be keen to get one over their opposite number this weekend.

When Vunipola is at his best he is such a powerful ball carrier. He gets through so much work in attack, and can provide his team with consistent front-foot ball. He might have dropped off a bit this season, but his omission from the England squad could help him comeback a more determined player.

Dombrandt’s link up with his half-backs Care and Smith really brings out the best in him. His running lines off Smith get Quins through the opponents defence so quickly, and it’s vital to their champagne style of attack. He will also be keen to prove a point with the man currently in the England eight shirt also on the pitch.

Ben Earl vs Will Evans

Ben Earl has dominated the headlines after his brilliant Six Nations, but his clash with Will Evans will be a tasty encounter.

Earl is a powerful ball carrier, and his pace allows him to operate well in broken field too. He is also a nuisance at the breakdown, and will be hunting for turnovers all game long.

But he won’t be alone in that, as Will Evans is also a huge threat at the breakdown. His ability to either turn the ball over or slow down the opposition rucks is so valuable to the Quins defence, and it has been a big part of them winning games this season.