This weekend’s predictions

Date published: January 22 2016

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

It all boils down to this! The last round of pool stage action in the Champions Cup with plenty on the line as teams battle it out to either top their group or secure a runners-up spot.

Where else to turn then but to our predictions and what's on offer from Paddy Power ahead of the action.

Let's get to it!

Champions Cup

Exeter Chiefs v Ospreys

No pool is more complicated than Pool 2 going into the final round of matches, with only five points seperating top from bottom! If the Ospreys win then they are in the quarter-finals for the first time in six years.

Exeter are no pushovers at home though and have an outside chance to top the pool if results somehow go their way – but they must win with a try bonus point. 

Thomas Waldrom as first try scorer at 17/2 has to be considered as does Ospreys superstar Dan Biggar as an anytime try scorer at 13/2.

This one is so hard to call but with the Ospreys having struggled in Europe for so long, what a chance they have now to advance and return to the last eight after so many years. We're backing them to edge this one by three points.

Bath v Toulon

Toulon travel to The Rec knowing that they have to win in order to guarantee first place with Wasps looking over their shoulder. 

James O'Connor has come in at full-back and is an 11/1 first try scorer for the European champions. We also like the look of a Bath half-time lead before Toulon secure the win at 5/1.

England centre Jonathan Joseph is 4/1 to score a try anytime – the same odds on offer for a Toulon winning margin by 6-10 points which is about what we expect.

Stade Français v Leinster

One of those teams still chasing a runners-up spot are the Top 14 champions, who produced one of the most impressive performances of the pool stage when despite having winger Josaia Raisuqe shown a red card before half-time, they still took Munster apart.

Tries will be a must for Stade and they have an outstanding prospect at outside centre in the shape of Jonathan Danty, who is priced at 16/1 for the game's first try.

The fact that Leicester are 7/5 favourites illustrates just how well they've performed in Europe this season, topping the pool, and 6/1 to win by more than 13 points would normally hold some appeal.

But Stade will be desperate to win this and when they are hot, they're tough to stop, whilst Leicester having nothing to play for. We're backing the home side by seven.

Other Champions Cup predictions:

Ulster v Oyonnax: Ulster by 12
Toulouse v Saracens: Saracens by 6
Wasps v Leinster: Wasps by 9
Glasgow v Racing 92: Racing by 4
Scarlets v Northampton Saints: Northampton by 8
Treviso v Munster: Munster by 10
Clermont v UBB: Clermont by 7

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