Champions Cup Round-Up: Week 1

Champions Cup Round-Up: Week 1

Leinster v Wasps

Wasps couldn’t possibly have a tougher start to their Champions Cup campaign as they take on the reigning champions Leinster away from home. The Coventry side suffered a defeat to Gloucester last weekend in the Premiership, so no doubt they’ll be some emotional recharge in their performance. But Leinster, who top their conference in the Pro 14 have a forward pack not many can stop. This one will be played under the Friday night lights following Storm Callum’s actions.

Tryscorers and Predictions

Wasps attacking flare took a dent last week, and in the tough conditions forecast it might be hard for them to get started. The forwards may have to take this one under their wings. England prospect Brad Shields returns to action after an injury in his debut. He’s priced at 5/1 to score anytime. On the other side of the scrum, Thomas Young’s turnover performance will need to be in full flight. For the bosses son to score anytime, he’s priced at 5/1 with Bet 365 as well.

Johnny Sexton will need to be a master of the conditions. The Leinster captain’s control from the boot will be massively important if they’re keen to trap Wasps in their half of the field. If you fancy Sexton to score a few penalties, more than 3.5 penalties is priced at 10/11. Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw combine in the centres to provide an international feel to the match. The powerful carries that these two can produce are scary. Ringrose and Henshaw are both priced at 2/1 to score anytime.

We recommend a bet on Leinster to win this match by 6-10 points. This is priced at 11/2 with Bet 365. Conditions will be the limiting factor for Leinster preventing them from scoring plenty of tries.

Recommended Bet: Leinster to win by 6-10 points at 11/2 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Bath Rugby v Toulouse

Two absolute classic powerhouses of the European game go head to head in the English west country. Toulouse’s return to this competition is highly anticipated and after a year out, the joint most successful team have some catching up to do. Bath have played Saracens and Exeter in the last two weeks, so it’ll be interesting to see how fatigue affects the home side.

Tryscorers and Predictions

Freddie Burns once again starts full-back, his second position. But that means Bath have two playmakers on the field with Welshman Rhys Priestland running the show from 10. Two playmakers should increase the chances of them being able to release the ball to Semesa Rokoduguni who is priced at 13/10 to score anytime. Chris Cook has scored two in two weeks from scrum-half. If you fancy him making it three in as many weeks, he’s priced at 4/1 to score anytime.

Toulouse are sitting mid-table after the opening seven games in the Top 14. Three times in the last four weeks has a Toulouse player scored two in a single match. That’s one to keep an eye on if you want to increase the odds. Jerome Kaino makes his European debut. The number 8 has picked up 83 caps for New Zealand, and if you fancy him to score anytime, he’s priced at 4/1. Maxime Mermoz starts from centre. The ex Toulon player loves a good step. He’s priced at 7/2 to score anytime.

It’s going to be a tough match. There’s a lot of history for the team to follow. If Bath can handle the French pack then they have a real good chance. But there’s just too much power, experience and class in the Toulouse front eight.

Recommended Bet: Toulouse win at 6/5 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Exeter Chiefs v Munster

A massive clash. Two sets of proper rugby fans go head to head. For once, Munster won’t be heading to the East Midlands when landing in England. They’ve played Leicester Tigers for the last three seasons in Europe winning last year. Exeter looked set for Europe last year but flopped and stalled against the big teams. This is the mouth-watering game.

Tryscorers and Predictions

They’ve won every game so far, but Rob Baxter’s men haven’t come up against a team as good as Munster. They’ve spoken about “getting it right” in the week and to do that, they’ll need Jack Nowell to find his scoring form straight away. He’s priced at 21/20 to score anytime and 11/2 to score 2+. Since moving to Exeter, Matt Kvesic’s game has improved. With Sam Simmonds out injured for the majority of the season, he’s having to step up and tomorrow will move to number 8. That classic position in the Exeter team which scores so many tries. He’s priced at 11/4 to score anytime.

Last seasons Semi-finalists will have to produce a classic Munster performance to beat Exeter. The line-out will have to be key in order for them to progress past the Chiefs. Peter O’Mahony, who captains the Irish side will be key to this line-out working. If he can get onto the back of a rolling maul we think he’ll score. He’s priced at 11/2 to score anytime. Dan Goggin, the 23-year-old Munster academy graduate starts in the centres for his first Champions Cup match. If you fancy him scoring, he’s priced at 4/1.

We recommend an Exeter Chiefs win priced at 3/10. This game is going to come down to who wants it more, and the Chiefs are the ones who look much keen in the weeks building up to this match.

Recommended Bet: Exeter -8 handicap at 10/11 with William Hill – BET HERE

Ulster Rugby vs Leicester Tigers

These two teams aren’t the forces in Europe they once were. In fact, they both have a rebuilding feel about them, but on Saturday night, it’s all about the here and now. Leicester’s defence has been leaky over the course of September and October. The Irish side have let a few slip themselves including 64 points conceded when playing Munster and 39 points conceded when playing the Cheetahs. It could well be a high scoring game. More than 40 points is a recommended bet.

Tryscorers and Predictions

Jonah Holmes put in a man of the match performance last week at Twickenham. Starting from full-back, Holmes was lighting and was apart of two Tigers tries. If you fancy him to score one, he’s priced at 10/3. Youngster Jordan Olowofela makes his debut from the wing in absence of Jonny May. He scored from the bench last week against Northampton and is priced at 2/1 to score again.

Billy Burns makes his first appearance for Ulster in the Champions Cup. The ex Gloucester player will know how Tigers like to play having visited Welford Road numerous times. If you fancy him finding a way through the defence, he’s priced at 5/1. Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale is a try scoring machine. Against the weak Tigers defence, he could add to his tally. He’s scored 17 tries in just 36 Ulster appearances. He’s priced at 6/4 to score anytime, and placed at 9/1 to score 2 or more.

We recommend a Tigers away win. They seem to be in slightly better form and Geordan Murphy has them scoring again. They’re priced at 6/5.

Recommended Bet: Leicester win at 6/5 with William Hill – BET HERE

Gloucester Rugby vs Castres

Gloucester’s return to the Champions Cup has been boosted by Danny Cipriani’s increase of form. His return to the Ricoh carved Wasps apart. Over the English Channel and Castres have been stop and start. Wins away against Montpellier and Toulouse shows promise, but a loss to Toulon and Racing exposed some issues. It’s a hard match to call!

Tryscorers and Predictions

Charlie Sharples scored two last weekend against Wasps proving the Kingsholm favourite is still in fine form. We recommend a bet on him to score anytime this weekend. Ben Vellacott is on the bench this weekend, but coming on at the 60-minute mark will make or break the game for Gloucester. He’ll be desperate to make an impact we recommend him to score anytime.

Sharples wasn’t the only player to score two last weekend! Castres number 8 Alex Tulou powered his way over for a brace against Toulouse giving Castres a win in a fantastic second-half performance. We think it’ll be good to be on him to score anytime. Martin Laveau lines up on the wing for Castres. The 22-year-old should have plenty of ball in hand with the distribution power of the centres. A bet on him to score anytime is recommended.

We recommend at home victory here. Gloucester’s Cipriani will decide the game and some of his passes are just too good. They’re priced at 1/9.

Recommended Bet: Gloucester to win by 13+ points at 8/11 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Glasgow Warriors vs Saracens

Saracens have a much easier group this season, but a Glasgow away trip still provides tough opposition. Both teams go into this match at the top of their tables, picking up five bonus points each after six games. We recommend a bet on a high number of tries for this match. The Warriors single defeat came against the Southern Kings.

Tryscorers and Predictions

The Saracens wingers have been on fire this season. They’ve been ripping up the Premiership scoring tries more often than ever before. We don’t see any reason why this will come to end in the Champions Cup. We recommend a bet on David Strettle and Sean Maitland to score. Liam Williams, the Premiership’s top try scorer is on the bench this weekend but can still do the magic when he comes on. We recommend a bet on him to score.  We expect him to come on in the later stages of the match so could well score the last try.

The Scottish team is littered with exciting prospects. Scrum-half Ali Price has seemingly nailed down the Scotland jersey and is as always in great form from the back of the ruck. We recommend a bet on him to score anytime. His snipping style could well pay-off. Peter Horne scored a brace of tries last weekend. He comes from the bench this weekend, but can still make an impact. We recommend a bet on him to score last.

We recommend a Saracens win here by 1-5 points. This is priced at 3/10. The teams are pretty even, but the Saracens Wolff pack have the edge.

Recommended Bet: Saracens to win by 1-12 points at 6/4 with Bet365 – BET HERE

Toulon vs Newcastle Falcons

Nobody would have expected these two teams to be at the bottom end of their respective tables after a quarter of the domestic season. But they are. Toulon have lost a bit of their spark over recent seasons, while Newcastle are on the opposite end of the scale as they’re growing under Dean Richards. As always, the Toulon crowd are bound to play a key part in this fixture.

Tryscorers and Predictions

Vereniki Geneva misses out this week, but Sinoti Sinoti remains on the Newcastle wings. We recommend  a bet on the darting New Zealander to score in this fixture. A few players in the Falcons forward pack have taken a rest this weekend. David Wilson though is there to use all of his experience. Michael Young also has plenty of experience and his ability to get back onto the end of the play could come in handy on Sunday. We recommend a bet on him to score this weekend.

Toulon are still loaded with stars. The ex Leicester Tigers winger JP Pietersen moves into the centres. We recommend a bet on the powerful runner to score a try against Newcastle. Julian Savea brings his trade to the Champions Cup this season. If you fancy the New Zealand ace (54 caps) to score a try on his debut in Europe we advise you to bet.

We recommend a home win. The Toulon team always up their performances when it comes to Europe. Against a weakened Newcastle team, they should get the win. They’re priced at 1/12.

Recommended Bet: Toulon to win by 13+ points at 8/15 with Bet365 – BET HERE