Predictions: Premiership, PRO12, Top 14

Date published: October 28 2016

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It’s back to the Premiership, PRO12 and Top 14 this weekend for teams in Europe as the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup takes a breather.

The game start on Friday with one Premiership and four PRO12 matches kicking things off, with Ulster versus Munster the pick of those.

Let’s see who will come out on top.

PREMIERSHIP

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Saracens v Leicester

On the back of the England squad being announced for November’s Tests, both of these sets of players will be eager to impress before the first game against South Africa on November 12. Furthermore, those left out will want to prove a point to Eddie Jones so expect fireworks.

Saracens have been flying high so far this season and sit atop the Premiership standings on 25 points after five victories from six games. Leicester meanwhile are on 19 points after suffering two losses but will no doubt be buoyed by last weekend’s home win against Racing 92.

The hosts have named a formidable looking front-row and despite the absence of Maro Itoje and George Kruis they should still have the edge up front, with Owen Farrell directing from fly-half. Leicester’s backline looks depleted so we’re going for a home victory. Saracens by 15.

Other Premiership predictions:

Northampton v Gloucester: Northampton by 3
Harlequins v Worcester: Harlequins by 14
Wasps v Newcastle: Wasps by 18
Bristol v Sale: Sale by 8
Exeter v Bath: Exeter by 5


PRO12

Leinster v Connacht

Connacht will be brimming with confidence after clobbering Zebre away 52-7 last weekend. The West Irish side ran the Italians ragged, scoring seven tries in the process with Stacey Ili completing a hat-trick. Connacht only conceded one five-pointer in a tight defensive display.

Leinster will feel less confident after losing 22-16 to Montpellier last week. The Dubliners were outscored three tries to one in a fairly close affair. They’ve made big changes to the side that lost that game with ten new faces in the team.

Leinster will feel far more comfortable playing at the RDS Arena but even home advantage might not be enough to make up for massive losses in experience or to hold off this impressive Connacht side. Connacht to take this by five.

Other PRO12 predictions:

Ulster v Munster: Ulster by 12
Cardiff Blues v Scarlets: Cardiff Blues by 5
Edinburgh v Zebre: Edinburgh by 20
Glasgow v Treviso: Glasgow by 32
Ospreys v Dragons: Ospreys by 10


TOP 14

Toulon v Grenoble

It is fourth versus thirteenth at Stade Mayol and Grenoble should be refreshed after not selecting their strongest team against Newcastle.

Toulon were not firing on all cylinders at Sale last week and with a change at the top in terms of coaching, might we see an improvement?

Grenoble wouldn’t have wanted the European break as in the game leading up to the Challenge Cup they claimed an impressive 44-16 win over Bayonne. Toulon drew at La Rochelle last time out domestically but their Champions Cup form leaves a level of uncertainty around Saturday.

Toulon though should get the job done for Mike Ford in front of their fans, but expect Grenoble to cause them a few problems. Toulon by 10.

Other Top 14 predictions:

Pau v Toulouse: Pau by 8
Montpellier v La Rochelle: Montpellier by 20
Stade Français v Lyon: Stade by 10
Bayonne v Racing 92: Racing 92 by 6
Castres v Bordeaux Bègles: Castres by 10
Brive v Clermont: Clermont by 5

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