Planet Rugby

This weekend's predictions!

10th January 2014 08:48

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SKY_MOBILE Niki Goneva Leicester Heineken Cup

Hefty favourites: Tigers

It's that time of week where we put our heads on the chopping block to bring you Planet Rugby's predictions.

This week sees the return of the Heineken Cup, with the penultimate round of fixtures throwing up plenty of big games; all the more important given the race for quarter-final qualification.

That means there are opportunities aplenty to bag some coin; as always, Paddy Power has loads of attractive odds..

Let's get started.

Racing Métro v Scarlets: This is an interesting match-up, with both sides almost certain to miss out on a place in the knockout stages of the tournament. Racing are a club in disarray; big money has been spent on several British and Irish Lions, but results, attitude and cohesion on the pitch continue to fall below par. That said, they remain favourites to down the plucky Scarlets at home, with a handicap of -8 paying out at even money with Paddy Power. Racing's oft kamikaze-style rugby of late, and the visitors' propensity to cause upsets means that Simon Easterby's men shouldn't be discounted. A winning away margin of 1-5, paying out at 13/2 is worth a punt. We reckon the Parisians should just about do it, though, with a likely margin of 7 points.

Treviso v Leicester Tigers: Treviso away is traditionally recognised as something of a banana-skin fixture for sides in the Pro12. We don't expect the Tigers to slip up in Italy, however, and they are well worth their huge 1/12 favourites tag. Treviso are a tough team to break down, particularly on their home turf, but handicapping the visitors -14 should prove a fairly safe bet, paying out just below evens at 10/11. For us, a Tigers win by anything less than 15 points would be a big surprise.

Toulouse v Saracens: This one is a real blockbuster, with the Premiership leaders facing the four-time Heineken Cup champions in France. Guy Noves' men don't lose many at home, most recently castling Clermont at Stade Ernest-Wallon, and they are rightly given a 4/9 favourites tag. Sarries are well-placed to spring a surprise, however, with a punt on the visitors reasonably priced at 7/4. A narrow-ish win for Toulouse is our tip, with the handicap of -5 your best bet at 10/11. The hosts should claim the victory, and by about 7 points.

Other SuperBru Heineken Cup predictions:

Ulster v Montpellier: Ulster by 18
Harlequins v Clermont: Clermont by 2
Exeter Chiefs v Glasgow Warriors: Chiefs by 4
Toulon v Cardiff Blues: Toulon by 14
Connacht v Zebre: Connacht by 6
Gloucester v Munster: Munster by 9
Edinburgh v Perpignan: Edinburgh by 5
Ospreys v Northampton: Northampton by 7
Castres v Leinster: Leinster by 5

Good luck!

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