The Heineken Cup has become akin to the Holy Grail for Clermont in recent years and Aurelien Rougerie's men will be looking to send-off their Kiwi coach Vern Cotter with the ultimate trophy on his coaching cv. There will be similar motivation for Saracens to steer their skipper Steve Borthwick into a Heineken Cup final in his last season at the club
Under Cotter, who will become the Scottish national coach this summer, Clermont have won the Top 14 and the Amlin Challenge Cup, but the big one has eluded them to date. Winning at home has become a habit, but on the road Clermont can be vulnerable.
That will give Mark McCall and his team hope they can upset the odds and make it third time lucky for themselves at this stage, as well as for an English team at Twickenham. They were beaten at the home of English rugby by Toulon last season, while London Irish fell to Toulouse at the venue in 2008.
French teams have ended Sarries' European adventures in the past two seasons - Clermont were 22-3 victors at Vicarage Road in the quarter-finals in 2012 and Toulon won 24-12 in last year's semi-final - and they were beaten twice in the Pool stages by Toulouse.
Even so, the Aviva Premiership leaders snuck through to the quarter-finals as eighth seeds after finishing runners-up to Toulouse and then went to Belfast to confront the unbeaten Ulstermen at their enhanced Ravenhill ground. Two tries from England wing Chris Ashton steered Sarries to a 17-15 after home full back Jared Payne had been sent-off in the opening minutes
Clermont had to pick themselves up from a first round defeat in Paris against Racing Metro '92 before emerging top of Pool 4 with 24 points. That earned them a home quarter-final against Leicester Tigers, which they won 22-16 to help extend their remarkable home record to 76 wins on the trot.
In their win over the Tigers, as in last season's final defeat to Toulon in Dublin, Clermont were guilty of going off the boil in the second half. That will give the Saracens heart and a real target following their recent run of red hot form which has seen them add the scalps of top English rivals Northampton Saints and Harlequins to that of Ulster.
While Ashton, one try short of the Heineken Cup record for a season of 10, remains an obvious threat, the rest of the back three, Alex Goode and Dave Strettle, also pack a punch and outside half Owen Farrell knows all about kicking crucial points at Twickenham for club and country.
An away defeat to Brive is the only loss Clermont have suffered in their last five outings, but a home 22-16 triumph over Top 14 title rivals Toulon will give them a huge boost heading into this clash.
- The clubs have met three times in the tournament with Clermont triumphing on each occasion and scoring a total of eight tries to two in the process.
- In each of the three games, Clermont have prevailed by at least 10 points.
- Saracens have lost their two previous semi-finals in this tournament, in 2008 and 2013. On both occasion, they had home country advantage.
- This is Clermont's third successive Heineken Cup semi-final. They lost their first to Leinster in 2012 before defeating Munster in Montpellier last season.
- Saracens' Kelly Brown has made 62 tackles in this season's campaign and is yet to miss a single one. No other player has made more than 35 and maintained a 100% success rate.
- Saracens have averaged more points (33.4), tries (4.6) and clean breaks (9.1) per game than any other club this season.
- Chris Ashton is the top try scorer in the tournament this season with nine while Clermont's Naipolioni Nalaga, is second on the list with five. The tournament individual record of 10 tries in a season was set by Sebastien Carrat of Brive in 1996/97.
- Clermont have the strongest scrum in the tournament so far, winning 97% of ball on their own put-in.
- Last season's defeated finalists have also averaged more possession per game (19 mins 15 secs) than any other club and have made the most offloads (17 per game).
- Sitiveni Sivivatu and Ashton are joint top of the clean breaks (14) chart this season, with Sivivatu also joint top of the offloads ranking (18).