Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Heineken Champions Cup: Round 2 Preview

Heineken Champions Cup: Round 2 Preview

Ian WHITTEN of Exeter during the European Rugby Champions Cup, Pool 2 match between La Rochelle and Exeter Chiefs
Ian Whitten of Exeter during the European Rugby Champions Cup match against La Rochelle. Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports.

The second round of the 2019/20 Heineken Champions Cup gets underway on Friday the 22nd of November. Darry Worthington previews all of the action below. 

The first round of the 2019/20 Heineken Cup did not disappoint with some cracking fixtures taking place and a few upset results.

This weekend is sure to throw up another fascinating round with Ulster's fixture against Clermont and Leinster's trip to Lyon being two of the more eye-catching fixtures.

Ulster v Clermont
Friday 22 November
Stade Marcel-Michelin
21:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Ulster 12/10
Draw 20/1
Clermont 7/10

Morgan PARRA of Clemont during the European Rugby Champions Cup, Pool 3 match between ASM Clermont Auvergne and Harlequin FC
Morgan Parra has a shot at goal for Clermont. Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports.
Friday's solitary fixture should be an absolute cracker with Irish Province Ulster taking on a Clermont side who put their patchy domestic form behind them by hammering Harlequins 53-21 in the opening round.

Ulster also managed to get their European campaign off on a positive note as they edged a dogged Bath side 16-17 out in England.

Verdict: Ulster 12/10
I fancy the Irish outfit here. It will be a tight game, however.

Toulouse v Connacht
Saturday 23 November
Stade Ernst-Wallon
15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulouse 1/20
Draw 35/1
Connacht 8/1

Reigning Top 14 champions Toulouse square up against PRO14 outfit Connacht in Saturday's opener. The hosts have domestically this season but did get their European campaign off to a solid start as they beat a very handy Gloucester side 20-25 in the first round.

Connacht, who have been good value in the PRO14, also got their campaign off to a bright start as they beat international-packed Montpellier 23-20 in Round 1.

Verdict: Toulouse 1/20
While Connacht will give Toulouse a run for their money in the return leg, I cannot see them picking up anything from their journey to France. My money is on the hosts taking this one by more than eight points.

Treviso v Northampton
Saturday 23 November
Stade Comunale Di Monigo
15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Treviso 15/10
Draw 20/1
Northampton 11/20

Dan Biggar of Northampton runs with the ball
Dan Biggar of Northampton. Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports. 

Italian outfit Treviso take on English club Northampton in our next fixture. The two sides head into this one off the back of contrasting results with Northampton beating Top 14 pacesetters, Lyon, 25-14 and Treviso going down 33-19 to Leinster. Treviso will take heart from that defeat, however, as they demonstrated that they can score points against one of the better sides in the business.

Verdict: Northampton 11/20
The Saints should win this one but I cannot see them claiming a comfortable victory. If you are offered a plus handicap over seven points it will be well worth backing Treviso on it.

Saracens v Ospreys
Saturday 23 November
Allianz Park
15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Saracens 1/33
Draw 35/1
Ospreys 9/1

Saracens will be looking to put their woes behind them and bounce back from their opening day 20-point defeat to Racing Metro when they take on an Ospreys side that went down 13-32 to Munster in the first week.

Verdict: Saracens 1/33
The home faithful will be expecting a big performance and I think the North Londoners will deliver it. I'm on the hosts winning this one by more than 20.

Exeter v Glasgow
Saturday 23 November
Sandy Park
17:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Exeter 34/10
Draw 30/1
Glasgow 1/5

The Exeter Chiefs will be looking to build on their 12-31 victory over La Rochelle when they take on a Glasgow Warriors side that beat the Sale Sharks 13-7 last weekend.

This is a rather interesting fixture for a lot of reasons including the fact that former Glasgow stalwart Stuart Hogg will line up against his former employers for the first time.

Verdict: Exeter 1/5
While the Chiefs have been rather inconsistent this season, I cannot see them losing on their home patch. My money is on the hosts claiming a victory by between seven and 11 points.

Lyon v Leinster
Saturday 23 November
Stade Gerland
17:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Lyon 16/10
Draw 20/1
Leinster 5/10

Scott Fardy of Leinster competes in the lineout
Scott Fardy of Leinster. Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports.

Arguably the pick of the action is next up with Top 14 log-leaders Lyon taking on PRO14 pacesetters, Leinster.

The hosts have lost one domestic game thus far this season but went down 25-14 to Northampton in their opening European game. Leinster, who are yet to tat defeat in the PRO14, got their Heineken Cup campaign off to a solid start as they beat Treviso 33-19.

Verdict: Lyon 16/10
I'm going for the upset here as Lyon are a bloody good side, especially on home soil.

Harlequins v Bath
Saturday 23 November
The Recreation Ground
19:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Harlequins 5/10
Draw 22/1
Bath 16/10

Next up we have an English derby with Harlequins taking on Bath. The hosts have been pretty poor on the domestic front only winning one of their opening four Gallagher Premiership games. Northampton have been a lot better and have only suffered one loss in their first four.

The two sides also experienced contrasting fortunes in the opening round of the Heineken Cup with Northampton beating Lyon 25-14 and Harlequins being drummed 53-21 by Clermont.

Verdict: Northampton 16/10
While it should be a rather tight affair, it's one that Northampton will ultimately win.

Munster v Racing Metro
Saturday 23 November
Thomond Park
19:30

To Win (80 Mins)
Munster 9/20
Draw 20/1
Racing 18/10

Saturday's action will draw to a close out in Ireland where Munster will play host to Racing Metro. The Irish Province got their European campaign off on the right foot as they beat PRO14 rivals, the Ospreys, 13-32.

Racing also enjoyed a fast start to the European campaign as they hammered English big guns, Saracens 30-10.

Verdict: Munster 9/20
Like the majority of French sides, Racing are poor travellers. As such, I'm on Munster here.

Sale v La Rochelle
Sunday 24 November
AJ Bell Stadium
15:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Sale 1/6
Draw 30/1
La Rochelle 4/1

Chris Ashton and Luke James of Sale Sharks chase a rugby ball
Chris Ashton and Luke James of Sale Sharks. Image copyright - Steve Haag Sports.

The penultimate game of the weekend sees the Gallagher Premiership side, the Sale Sharks, take on Top 14 outfit, La Rochelle. Both teams got their Heineken Cup campaigns off to losing starts with La Rochelle sure to bitterly disappointed after going down heavily at home to the Exeter Chiefs, while Sale will be slightly more pleased with their 13-7 away defeat to the Glasgow Warriors.

Verdict: Sale 1/6
I fancy Sale here. They have got a host of star players back and it's only a matter of time until they click.

Montpellier v Gloucester
Sunday 24 November
Altrad Stadium
21:15

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 7/20
Draw 22/1
Gloucester 22/10

The weekend's action comes to a close with yet another Anglo-French affair as Montpellier will square off with Gloucester.

The opening round proved to be a round to forget for both teams with Montpellier going down 23-20 to Connacht and Gloucester suffering a 20-25 home defeat to a hit and miss Toulouse outfit.

Verdict: Gloucester 22/10
A feel a trip to foreign pressure is just what the doctor ordered. The pressure will be off this attack-minded Gloucester side, and that will make them dangerous.

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