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Aviva Premiership: Sale Sharks entertain Saracens in Friday night clash
It is always important to respond, and we always say that it's a sign of a good team when they respond from defeat.
Saracens' David Strettle
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Saracens travel to Sale Sharks aiming to climb back to the top of the Aviva Premiership after being knocked off top spot by Northampton last weekend.
The hosts will be looking to follow up their 24-19 victory over Gloucester and inflict successive defeats on Saracens at the AJ Bell Stadium.
The long-time league leaders head into the clash following a surprise home defeat at the hands of London Irish last time out.
Saints took advantage of that slip-up by edging past Exeter to claim pole position, although it will be a short-lived stay if Saracens topple Sale on Friday night.
"We are looking to respond," Saracens' England international wing David Strettle said.
"It is always important to respond, and we always say that it's a sign of a good team when they respond from defeat."
Saracens are buoyed by the return of several England players from Six Nations duty.
The list includes full-back Alex Goode, centre Brad Barritt and prop Mako Vunipola, while half-backs Charlie Hodgson and Richard Wigglesworth will start against their former club.
Meanwhile, Sale boss Steve Diamond feels his side are capable of beating their opponents on home soil; a victory would take them into a play-off position.
They have won three of their last four Premiership fixtures and are unbeaten for six games in all competitions at home - a run that stretches back to November.
"As a squad, we are in a different position now, compared to last year, and the team has got a real belief about it," Diamond told the club's official website.
"We didn't play as well as we could on Friday (against Gloucester), but we got the result, and the icing on the cake was getting the bonus point.
"Friday's game is a huge game for us.
Sale boss Steve Diamond has made three changes - all up front - from the side that accounted for Gloucester last time out.
Prop Eifion Lewis-Roberts replaces Ross Harrison, while hooker Marc Jones starts instead of Tommy Taylor and lock Andrei Ostrikov takes over from Jonathan Mills.
Harrison, Taylor and Mills are all on bench duty, along with England prop Henry Thomas.
Sale: 15 Miller, 14 Brady, 13 Leota, 12 uitupou, 11 Cueto, 10 Cipriani, 9 Peel; 1 Lewis-Roberts, 2 Jones, 3 Cobilas, 4 Ostrikov, 5 Paterson, 6 Braid, 7 Seymour, 8 Gaskell.
Replacements: 16 Taylor, 17 Harrison, 18 Thomas, 19 Mills, 20 Easter, 21 Cliff, 22 Macleod, 23 Arscott.
Saracens: 15 Goode, 14 Ashton, 13 Taylor, 12 Barritt, 11 Strettle, 10 Hodgson, 9 Wigglesworth; 1 Vunipola, 2 George, 3 Stevens, 4 Borthwick, 5 Kruis, 6 Brown, 7 Burger, 8 Wray.
Replacements: 16 Brits, 17 Barrington, 18 Johnston, 19 Botha, 20 Joubert, 21 De Kock, 22 Tomkins, 23 Wyles.
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|Friday 3rd October|
|19:45||Bath vs Saracens|
|Saturday 4th October|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Northampton|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Leicester|
|Sunday 5th October|
|14:00||Sale Sharks vs Wasps|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Exeter|
|Friday 10th October|
|19:45||Leicester vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 11th October|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Saracens vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Irish|
|15:15||Northampton vs Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 12th October|
|14:00||Wasps vs Bath|
|Friday 14th November|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|19:45||Northampton vs Exeter|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|17:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 16th November|
|13:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Wasps vs London Welsh|
|Friday 21st November|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Sale|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|15:00||London Irish vs Bath|
|15:00||Exeter vs Wasps|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|13:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|15:15||London Welsh vs Leicester|
|Friday 28th November|
|19:45||Bath vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 28th September|
|Wasps 35 - 18 Newcastle|
|Exeter 36 - 13 Harlequins|
|Saturday 27th September|
|Northampton 31 - 24 Bath|
|Leicester 19 - 22 London Irish|
|Saracens 40 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 26th September|
|London Welsh 10 - 46 Gloucester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|Newcastle 10 - 35 Northampton|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Bath 45 - 0 Leicester|
|Harlequins 26 - 23 Wasps|
|London Irish 32 - 36 Saracens|
|Sale 46 - 8 London Welsh|
|Friday 19th September|
|Gloucester 22 - 25 Exeter|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
|Wasps 20 - 16 Northampton|
|Saturday 13th September|
|Exeter 20 - 24 Leicester|
|Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale Sharks|
|Bath 53 - 26 London Welsh|
|Friday 12th September|
|Harlequins 0 - 39 Saracens|
|Sunday 7th September|
|London Welsh 0 - 52 Exeter|
|Saturday 6th September|
|London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins|
|Leicester 36 - 17 Newcastle|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 29 Bath|
|Saracens 34 - 28 Wasps|
|Friday 5th September|
|Northampton 53 - 6 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com