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Exeter v Saracens: Teams
At Sandy Park, Sunday September 23, kick-off 2.15pm
Exeter will be looking for some home comforts when they welcome unbeaten Saracens to Sandy Park on Sunday.
The Chiefs have won three of their last four Aviva Premiership games in front of their own fans, including a resounding 43-6 rout of Sale on the opening weekend of the new season.
However, since then Rob Baxter's side have suffered two narrow defeats on their travels, including going down 25-24 to top-flight new boys London Welsh.
"Yes it was frustrating not to win those games, but that's what it is," said Baxter.
"Every game of Premiership rugby is tough and at the end of the day we came away with something from both those fixtures. Our major aim was to be competitive in every game and we were certainly competitive up in Oxford.
"We would have liked to have won - of course we would have - and did we feel we played as well as could have? Of course we don't. But there is still a reality that in the closing stages we were six points up, but then made a couple of mistakes and the game got away from us."
Their cause this week is not helped by the absence of England flanker Tom Johnson. Craig Mitchell is also missing from their pack, meaning Carl Rimmer and James Phillips are drafted in.
Haydn Thomas is given his first outing of the campaign at scrum-half and the back line is rejigged with Ian Whitten and Phil Dollman trading places.
Meanwhile, scrum-half Neil de Kock will make his 150th appearance for Saracens as they bid to stretch their unbeaten start to the season.
Jamie George gets his first start at hooker as does Duncan Taylor, who is named at outside centre, and Alistair Hargreaves, meaning Steve Borthwick has to make do with a seat on the bench.
After getting 20 minutes of action for Saracens Storm on Monday, Matt Stevens is also in line for his first outing of the season.
Saracens preserved their unbeaten start to the new season with the 9-9 draw with Leicester at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, while they have not lost to Exeter since their first Premiership meeting back in October 2010.
Exeter: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Phil Dollman, 13 Ian Whitten, 12 Sireli Naqelevuki, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Ignacio Mieres, 9 Haydn Thomas, 8 Richard Baxter, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 James Phillips, 5 James Hanks, 4 Tom Hayes (capt), 3 Carl Rimmer, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Brett Sturgess.
Replacements: 16 Simon Alcott, 17 Ben Moon, 18 Chris Budgen, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 Ben White, 21 Will Chudley, 22 Gareth Steenson, 23 Jack Nowell.
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Jackson Wray, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Kelly Brown (capt), 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Alistair Hargreaves, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Steve Borthwick, 20 Ernst Joubert, 21 Richard Wigglesworth, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Joel Tomkins.
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Aviva Premiership Table
|Friday 5th September|
|19:45||Northampton vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 6th September|
|14:00||Sale vs Bath|
|14:00||Saracens vs Wasps|
|15:00||Leicester vs Newcastle|
|16:30||London Irish vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 7th September|
|14:00||London Welsh vs Exeter|
|Friday 12th September|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Saracens|
|Saturday 13th September|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Sale|
|15:00||Bath vs London Welsh|
|15:15||Exeter vs Leicester|
|Sunday 14th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Newcastle vs London Irish|
|Friday 19th September|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Exeter|
|Saturday 20th September|
|14:00||Sale vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Saracens|
|15:15||Bath vs Leicester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|14:00||Newcastle vs Northampton|
|Friday 26th September|
|19:45||London Welsh vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 27th September|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Sale|
|15:15||Northampton vs Bath|
|Sunday 28th September|
|14:00||Wasps vs Newcastle|
|14:00||Exeter vs Harlequins|
|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com