This weekend's predictions!

03rd Jan 2014, 10:00

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Much-vaunted: Saints

Much-vaunted: Saints

It's that time of week where we put our heads on the chopping block with our predictions.

It's that time of week where we put our heads on the chopping block with our predictions.

We're back to something approaching normality this weekend, with a full card of Premiership and Top 14 fixtures, while the festive derbies are rounded off in the Pro12.

There a couple of huge match-ups, particularly on Friday, and as always, Paddy Power is the place to get those bets on.

Let's get started.

Northampton Saints v Harlequins: Both sides approach this enticing clash with just one defeat from their past five games, but the much-fancied Saints will be expected to claim the spoils in front of their home crowd. Jim Mallinder's men are 6/5 with Paddy Power for a win by 1-12 points, with a more precise margin of 6-10 coming in at 16/5.

Naturally George North tops the first try scorer charts, but there are plenty interesting prospects named there too - Samu Manoa at 14/1 for the hosts and Mike Brown at 22/1 for Quins are two worthy of note. Despite the visitors' strong recent form, we can't see past a Saints win here; probably by about 6 points.

Other SuperBru Premiership predictions::

Newcastle Falcons v Sale Sharks: Sale by 4
London Irish v Worcester Warriors: Irish by 6
Gloucester v Saracens: Saracens by 10
Leicester Tigers v Bath: Tigers by 3
London Wasps v Exeter Chiefs: Wasps by 4

Pro12

Ospreys v Scarlets: The regional derbies continue amid the unrest in Welsh rugby, as the Scarlets look to avenge their narrow 10-6 defeat to the Ospreys at Parc y Scarlets on Boxing Day. Friday's visitors to the Liberty Stadium have lost all five of their most recent fixtures, but that statistic is skewed by a run of tough games, both domestically and in Europe. That said, we don't expect Simon Easterby's men to end the losing streak here - so look at a home win by 1-10 or 11-20 at 6/4 and 23/10 respectively.

Justin Tipuric returns to the Ospreys' line-up this weekend; he sits at 16/1 for the game's first try. Scarlets' Scott Williams (18/1) and the hosts' Canadian winger Jeff Hassler (9/1) are worth a mention too. Again, we reckon a reasonably comfortable home win should be on the cards here, with the Ospreys victorious by about 8 points.

Other SuperBru Pro12 predictions:

Ulster v Munster: Ulster by 3
Zebre v Treviso: Treviso by 5
Connacht v Leinster: Leinster by 12

Top 14

Castres v Bordeaux-Begles: The champions are, unsurprisingly, huge favourites here at 1/18 - with a handicap of -14 coming in at 10/11. True to French character, Castres have not lost a home game all season, and though Bordeaux-Begles have claimed some impressive scalps on the road, their away record is pretty poor. That's why a winning margin of 11-20 for the hosts is a promising option, paying just over double money at 11/5.

If you're feeling a tad more adventurous, a punt on a 21-30 point winning margin pays out at 7/2. In keeping with the weekend's other featured predictions, we are backing a home win - and by a comfortable margin of about 16 points.

Other SuperBru Top 14 predictions:

Toulon v Grenoble: Toulon by 20
Biarritz v Stade Francais: Stade by 11
Oyonnax v Racing Metro: Oyonnax by 4
Perpignan v Bayonne: Perpignan by 10
Brive v Montpellier: Brive by 3
Toulouse v Clermont: Toulouse by 6

Good luck!