European Rugby Champions Cup: Round 1 Preview

Rugby Players engage into a scrum

Round 1 of the 2018/19 European Rugby Champions Cup will get underway on Friday the 12th of October. 


Europe's Premier rugby tournament gets underway this Friday evening and rugby punters will have 10 high-quality games to feats upon this coming weekend. The headline clashes see reigning champions Leinster take on Wasps at the Ricoh Arena and the Glasgow Warriors take on Saracens at the Scoutstoun.

Leinster v Wasps
Friday 12 October
RDS Arena

To Win (80 Mins)
Leinster 1/10
Draw 30/1

Wasps 11/2

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Verdict: Leinster /10
Wasps are likely to struggle here particularly with the mercurial Willie le Roux set to miss out. They may earn a four-try bonus point but I cannot see them getting a win. My money is on Leinster taking this one by nine points or more.


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Bath Rugby v Toulouse
Saturday 13 October
The Recreation Ground

To Win (80 Mins)
Bath 6/10
Draw 20/1
Toulouse 27/20

Saturday's action gets underway with an Anglo-French affair between Bath and Toulouse. Both sides have enjoyed mediocre starts to their respective domestic campaigns with Bath winning two and drawing one of the opening six English Premiership encounters while Toulouse have won four of their opening seven Top 14 games.

The hosts head into Europe off the back of a 24-39 defeat to Exeter while Toulouse registered a 10-0 win over Agen in the Top 14 last weekend.

Verdict: Bath  6/10
This should be a very close game with both sides still trying to find consistency. I reckon the hosts will edge it by no more than seven points. 
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Montpellier v Edinburgh
Saturday 13 October
GGL Stadium


To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 1/9
Draw 30/1
Edinburgh 5/1

Montpellier will be looking to assert themselves on home soil when they take on a hit-and-miss Edinburgh outfit at the GGL Stadium. The hosts have found a solid patch of form after a slow start to their domestic campaign and head into this one off the back of a 29-17 victory over fellow French big guns Toulon.

Edinburgh also head into this one off the back of a solid win as they beat the Cheetahs by 16 points last weekend.

Verdict: Montpellier 1/9
The French side are starting to find form at just the right time and I can see them extending their winning streak here. My money is on the hosts taking it by 10 points or more.
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Exeter Chiefs v Munster
Saturday 13 October
Sandy Park


To Win (80 Mins)
Exeter  2/7
Draw 22/1
Munster 26/10

The in-form Exter Chiefs will be looking to maintain their unbeaten run when they take on Munster in their opening European Rugby Champions Cup fixture. The hosts have been absolutely sensational domestically thus far winning all six of their English Premiership fixtures.

Munster haven't enjoyed as bright a start to their PRO14 campaign with the Irish Province only registering three wins from their opening six games. They also head into their first European game off the back of an eight-point derby defeat to Leinster.

Verdict: Exeter 2/7
Sandy Park is fast becoming a fortress for the Chiefs and I can see them solidating in Europe with a win over Munster.

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Scarlets v Racing
Saturday 13 October
Parc Y Scarlets

To Win (80 Mins)
Scarlets  6/10
Draw 20/1
Racing 27/20

Welsh side Scarlets will take on Racing Metro 92 on Saturday. The hosts head into this one off the back of a solid start to their PRO 14 campaign which has seen them win four of their opening six games. Racing have also enjoyed a decent start to their Top 14 campaign winning four of their opening seven.

The two sides head into this game off the back of contrasting results with Scarlets beating Ospreys by three points and Racing going down to Lyon by six points.

Verdict: Racing 27/20
Metro have had this knack of performing poorly domestically and turning on the style in Europe. I can see them doing that once again by beating the Scarlets this Saturday.
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Ulster v v Leicester Tigers
Saturday 13 October
Kingspan Stadium


To Win (80 Mins)
Ulster 7/10
Draw 20/1
Leicester 23/20

Ulster will be looking to put their derby defeat to Connacht behind them when they open up their European campaign against Leicester. The visitors come into this one off a solid eight-point victory against Northampton, which was their third win of the English Premiership season.

Verdict: Ulster 7/10
While I think Leicester will put up a fight, I just cannot go against the home side here,
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Gloucester Rugby v Castres
Sunday 14 October
Kingsholm Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Gloucester 1/9
Draw 30/1
Castres 5/1

Gloucester will be looking to build on their English Premiership victory over Wasps when they take on Castres in their first European Rugby Champions Cup fixture. The hosts have been in solid touch in the English Premiership this season winning three and drawing one of their opening six fixtures.

Reigning Top 14 Champions Castres have also enjoyed a positive start to their domestic winning four of their opening six fixtures. They do head into this one off the back of an upset 9-14 home defeat to Stade, however.

Verdict: Gloucester 1/9
Like most French sides, Castres are hardly good travellers. I suspect their woes on the road will continue this Saturday evening. 

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Lyon v Cardiff Blues
Sunday 14 October
Matmut Stadium de Garland


To Win (80 Mins)
Lyon 1/4
Draw 25/1
Cardiff 11/4

Lyon will come into their opening European Rugby Champions Cup encounter against the Cardiff Blues full of confidence having beaten Clermont by six points away from home in the Top 14 last weekend. The plucky little French club could pose a major problem for some of Europe's big guns this season, particularly on home soil.

Last season's European Challenge Cup winners, the Cardiff Blues, also head into Sunday's game off the back of a win as they beat local rivals the New port Dragons 15-23 last weekend.

Verdict: Lyon  1/4
This should be a very tight affair but I can see home ground advantage swinging it in favour of Lyon.
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Toulon v Newcastle Falcons
Sunday 14 October
Stade Felix Mayol


To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 1/9
Draw 30/1
Newcastle 5/1

Toulon will be hoping to alleviate their domestic woes by starting their European campaign off on a high note against the Newcastle Falcons. The French giants have endured a miserable start to their domestic campaign only winning two of their opening six fixtures. Things got worse for them last weekend as they went down by 12 points to Montpellier.

Like their opponents, Newcastle have also had a horrendous start to their domestic campaign and have only managed one win from six outings. They also head into this one off a defeat in excess of 10 points as they went down 20-7 to the Sale Sharks in a Northern derby last weekend.

Verdict: Toulon  1/9
They may be struggling domestically but I still fancy Toulon to get the job done against a very average Newcastle side. My money is on the hosts winning this one by 14 points or more.
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Glasgow Warriors v Saracens
Sunday 14 October
Scoutstoun Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Glasgow 26/10
Draw 22/1
Saracens 2/7

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Verdict: Saracens 2/7
Their big guns are starting to return to form with number eight Billy Vunipoala putting in a mammoth shift against Harlequins last week. I can see the burly English international spearheading a famous Saracens away win. 



Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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