Planet Rugby

Heineken Cup predictions

11th October 2013 14:07

Share:

Toulon s rugby team president Mourad Boudjellal C holds the Heineken Cup trophy as he gets off the plane

Toulon: The Heineken Cup trophy's final destination?

European rugby is back with a bang this weekend which means it's time for us to put our heads on the block and give you Planet Rugby's calls for where the smart money lies.

Will the trophy stay in France? For good? Toulon, Clermont and Toulouse all have the firepower and pedigree to go all the way and even Montpellier are legitimate candidates for overall Heineken Cup victory. The Irish will point to the record books with regards where the winners have come from in recent years. Who could ignore Leicester or Saracens?

Of course there are plenty of other options on where to place your bets. Here are our thoughts for the season ahead.

Title winner: Toulon are 7/2 favourites which is mighty short for a tournament such as this. While it would take something out of the blue for this squad of internationals not to make the quarter-finals, there is little value there in our eyes. Clermont at 5/1 is an option due to their decent form of late, squad quality throughout, and of course that excellent 64-game unbeaten record on home soil. Our, outside bets for the Heineken Cup are Northampton, who are at 20/1 with Paddy Power, Racing Metro (25/1) and Montpellier (33/1), with the latter duo at full strength expected to be a match for any of the big names. Montpellier have already demolished Clermont 43-3 this season and with one of Rene Ranger and Robert Ebersohn set to be registered in the near future, they are one to watch.

Top try-scorer: A few names spring to mind here but it's always worth checking the Pools before placing this bet. Saracens are likely to make it out of their group and could well have a home quarter-final so Chris Ashton (12/1) and David Strettle (16/1) are tempting. Wesley Fofana is integral to Clermont and at 28/1 he is a very good shout. Tommy Bowe is also a great price at 33/1 while our long each-way shots are Danny Care (80/1) and Nick Williams (150/1).

Top points-scorer: The bookies go for Jonny Wilkinson as their favourite for this one, with Morgan Parra and Owen Farrell just behind. While they're all expected to be battling for this prize, we quite like the look of Northampton fly-half Stephen Myler as an outside bet. Should they come through their Pool, Saints have the team to make it to at least the semis and Myler's kicking will be vital to their hopes. At 16/1, that's a price not to be sniffed at.

This weekend's Superbru predictions:

Friday:
Toulouse vs Zebre: Toulouse by 20
Connacht vs Saracens: Sarries by 12
Ulster vs Leicester: Ulster by 3

Saturday:
Castres vs Northampton: Saints by 4
Ospreys vs Leinster: Leinster by 2
Harlequins vs Scarlets: Quins by 7
Treviso vs Montpellier: Montol by 6
Edinburgh vs Munster: Munster by 10
Gloucester vs Perpignan: Gloucester by 7

Sunday:
Exeter vs Cardiff Blues: Chiefs by 5
Toulon v Glasgow: Toulon by 12
Racing v Clermont: Clermont by 7

Don't forget to join the Planet Rugby Superbru league!

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Heineken Cup
Saturday , April 26
Saracens vs Clermont Auvergne15:40
Sunday , April 27
Toulon vs Munster15:30
More Heineken Cup fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 26
Glasgow vs EdinburghGlasgow vs Edinburgh Preview
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Amlin Challenge Cup
Friday , April 25
Northampton vs HarlequinsNorthampton vs Harlequins Preview
Sunday , April 27
Wasps vs Bath13:00
More Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures
Super Rugby
Friday , April 25
Blues vs WaratahsBlues vs Waratahs Preview
Brumbies vs ChiefsBrumbies vs Chiefs Preview
Sharks vs HighlandersSharks vs Highlanders Preview
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
Western Force vs Bulls17:40
Cheetahs vs Stormers17:05
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 20
Northampton 36 - 21 London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Report
Newcastle 18 - 23 SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Cardiff Blues 17 - 13 ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Report
Newport Gwent D'gons 10 - 20 Ospreys
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Bath 32 - 20 WorcesterBath vs Worcester Report
Exeter 12 - 55 SaleExeter vs Sale Report
Wasps 38 - 30 GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Zebre 26 - 13 EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Report
Connacht 23 - 32 MunsterConnacht vs Munster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Oyonnax 19 - 19 ToulouseOyonnax vs Toulouse Report
Biarritz 19 - 13 Brive
Perpignan 31 - 46 ToulonPerpignan vs Toulon Report
Racing Metro Paris 22 - 6 Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Grenoble 21 - 21 Bayonne
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 17 - 18 CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Report
Sharks 19 - 8 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Waratahs 19 - 12 BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Report
Stormers 18 - 3 LionsStormers vs Lions Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Castres 22 - 15 MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens2080
2Northampton2071
3Bath2064
4Leicester Tigers2064
5Harlequins2058