Mallinder: Saracens clear favourites but Saints will show no fear
Jim Mallinder admits Saracens are '˜clear favourites' to win Saturday's Champions Cup quarter-final at Allianz Park.
But he insists Saints will not be daunted by the prospect of facing a team who have won 20 of their 25 games in all competitions this season.
Saracens currently sit top of the Aviva Premiership and have already secured a play-off spot.
They won their Champions Cup pool thanks to a 100 per cent record and will be aiming to set up a Madejski Stadium semi-final against Wasps or Exeter Chiefs this weekend.
But Saints have a good record at Allianz Park and won there in the league back in March.
And Mallinder said: “They (Saracens) played well at the weekend (in the win at Bath) and they’ve got an extra two days’ recovery on us, but it’s a challenge and that’s what life’s all about.
“They are a great side - one of Europe’s best at the moment - but it won’t daunt us going down there.
“It’s a place we like to play and this is a team who enjoy challenges.
“They’ll be clear favourites, but we’ll see what we can do about that.”
When Saints are done with Saracens, they will again turn their attentions to the league, with a mouthwatering local derby at home to Leicester beckoning on April 16.
Mallinder’s men are four points behind fourth-placed Tigers in the standings, with three regular-season matches to go.
Saints must also face Bath at Franklin’s Gardens and go to Gloucester before the season is out.
And Mallinder said: “We need to win those games.
“We’ve got Europe coming up this week and then we’ve got the big one against Leicester - that will be a massive game and it’s vital that we get a home win.”