Ed Slater steeled for a tough test against Leicester Tigers' rivals Worcester
There are few opportunities in the wonderfully unpredictable Aviva Premiership to know what is coming next.
But Leicester Tigers against Worcester at Sixways during a wet spell in January gives you more chance of guessing correctly.
Both sides have named heavyweight packs for what is expected to be a survival of the fittest.
Reports that the Sixways pitch has spent much of the last week praying for dry weather adds to the view that tonight's match will be nothing more than two sides slugging at one another for 80 minutes.
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In such conditions, as last Saturday's win against Gloucester proved, the set-piece is crucial, and Tigers lock is Ed Slater is one of 12 new faces in the side who will be hoping to make their mark on proceedings.
Slater makes just his fifth start of the season and is hoping that his second-row partnership with skipper Louis Deacon can flourish.
"I have had to be patient during the past weeks, so I am really looking forward to getting involved," said Slater. "I try to emulate Deacs as much as I can in my own game. He is quite abrasive in his style of play and is a really good leader on the pitch.
"In the past, when we have played together, we have done really well.
"We will have an aggressive and abrasive pack for the game and I know they are all up for the battle.
"The pitch will probably be heavy. It's that time of year when everywhere is a bit wet and muddy.
"The first 20 minutes are always massive in conditions like that. If we can force our game on the opposition and score some points, it puts them under pressure.
"We need to be physical and keep mistakes to a minimum.
"Worcester look to be playing much more consistently this season and have been having some good wins. They are a lot more organised and Sixways is a hard place to go.
"We are going to go there with form at our backs, to be physical up front and, hopefully, play the rugby that we have been used to in the past couple of weeks."
Warriors are in ninth place in the league table and, while they have an image of a hard-working side that is led by the boot of former Tigers fly-half Andy Goode, they have scored as many tries as the much talked-about Gloucester side and eight more than Saracens.
While they are likely to find Leicester's stingy defence (13 tries conceded in 12 games) hard to breach, Tigers will know all too well that Goode can hurt them from anywhere inside their own half.
But Tigers have done well at Sixways recently. They have won on each of their last four visits and have not been beaten by Worcester there since March 2006.
A much-changed Leicester side should still be too strong for the hosts if they can get ahead in the opening 20 minutes and force the Warriors to chase the game.
But it is likely to be a close call and Worcester will fancy their chances if they can turn it into a dog-fight.