This weekend’s predictions

Date published: January 15 2016

It is that time of the week when we put our heads on the chopping block with Planet Rugby's predictions.

Paddy Power is our chosen bookmaker for having a rugby bet and with key Champions Cup games on the schedule, there's plenty to choose from as Round 5 arrives in Europe's elite club competition

Ospreys v Clermont, Saracens v Ulster and Toulon v Wasps stand out so without further ado, let's take a look.

Champions Cup

Ospreys v Clermont

Friday's lone fixture in the top tier competition comes from Liberty Stadium where Ospreys face pool leaders Clermont, who look a decent option to win by 1-10 points (8/5). Players such as Fritz Lee and Benjamin Kayser come in with fresh bodies and while there is no Nick Abendanon, Scott Spedding will do a job at the back. We like Lee for an anytime try (10/3) against an Ospreys side missing the quality of Dan Lydiate.

Bordeaux-Bègles v Exeter Chiefs

There is no hiding from the fact that this is a second-string Exeter Chiefs line-up and while they will give a good account of themselves, UBB's class should see them beat the 11 point handicap on Saturday. We would also be tempted to back a slick Bordeaux-Bègles side to win both halves at a price yet to be confirmed.

Munster v Stade Français

Expect a response from Munster on their home patch after last weekend's embarrassing performance in Paris. We like Munster to win this one by 1-7 points (21/10) or if you fancy Stade to win again, they're 11/10 on the match coupon. CJ Stander is 14/1 for the game's first try and worth a punt as the Red Army come out firing.

Leicester v Treviso

It will be all about the bonus point for Tigers as they look for five wins out of five in this season's competition. Richard Cockerill has rotated his side and it's for that reason we think the 35 point handicap is a touch too high so we'd advise backing Treviso on that market. However, two players who we do fancy to cross the whitewash are number eight Jordan Crane (3/1) and unwanted England international hooker Tom Youngs (13/5).

Toulon v Wasps

Wasps travel to Toulon without James Haskell, Nathan Hughes and Joe Launchbury in a major setback for the 5/1 underdogs. They are given a 12 point handicap by Paddy Power though which is worth getting on as Toulon are nowhere near top form, with the pressure on Quade Cooper. Can the Australian answer his in-house critics with the game's first try? He is 25/1 to do so but we're backing Steffon Armitage at 14/1 to get the opener.

Other Champions Cup predictions:

Saracens v Ulster: Saracens by 15
Oyonnax v Toulouse: Oyonnax by 3
Leinster v Bath: Bath by 5
Racing 92 v Scarlets: Racing by 8
Northampton v Glasgow: Northampton by 10