Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Heineken Champions Cup: Round 4 Pools 1 and 2 Preview

Heineken Champions Cup: Round 4 Pools 1 and 2 Preview

Romain Sazy of La Rochelle during the European Rugby Champions Cup

Darry Worthington takes a look at the four Pool 1 and 2 Round 4 Heineken Cup games which are taking place this coming weekend.

The final set of Heineken Champions Cup fixtures for the year will take place this weekend and there are some massive Pool 1 and 2 clashes in store, with the headline affair seeing the Exeter Chiefs take on local rivals, the Sale Sharks.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports
Treviso v Lyon
Saturday 14 December
Stadio Comunale di Monigo

To Win (80 Mins)
Treviso 13/10
Draw 20/1
Lyon 6/10

Lyon will be looking to keep their Heineken Champions Cup knock-out phase aspirations alive when they take on Pool B's cellar-dwellers, Treviso.

The two sides met last weekend with Lyon putting in a commanding display to run out 28-0 victors and claim a vital bonus-point. Following this fixture, the French outfit will face an away date against the table's pace-setters, Leinster, and a home fixture against the Northampton Saints. As such, a loss or even failure to claim a winning bonus would put pains to their qualification chances.

Jonathan WISNIEWSKI of Lyon during the Top 14 match between Clermont and Lyon
Lyon will look to secure passage into the knockout phase of the Champions Cup with a win over the Italian minnows, Treviso. Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Verdict: Lyon 6/10
Lyon will be gunning for the bonus point here and I think they may well get it. I can see the visitors winning this one by more than eight points.

Glasgow v La Rochelle
Saturday 14 September
Scoutstoun Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Glasgow 1/12
Draw 30/1
La Rochelle 6/1

The Glasgow Warriors will be looking for the full five-point haul when they take on what is likely to be a very weakened La Rochelle outfit. The visitors currently sit at the foot of Pool 2 with no realistic chance of qualifying for the next phase of the competition.

Glasgow, on the other hand, lie second on the table and a big win here would go a long way to ensuring they advance to the next round.

The two sides met last weekend with the Warriors running out narrow 24-27 victors.

Verdict: Warriors 1/12
I cannot see a significantly weakened La Rochelle side putting up any sort of fight here. As such, I'd be happy to back any minus handicap under the 17 point mark.

Leinster v Northampton
Saturday 14 December
RDS Arena

To Win (80 Mins)
Leinster 1/16
Draw 30/1
Northampton 7/1

Leinster will be looking to maintain their season-long unbeaten streak when they take on a Northampton side that will be desperate to take at least a couple of points from what will be a very difficult away trip.

The first leg between the two sides was played last weekend and there was to be no upset for the Saints as they went down 16-43 on home soil.

Referee George Clancy and Alex Waller of Northampton and Morgan Parra of Clermont during the European Challenge Cup match between Clermont Ferrand and Northampton Saints
Northampton face a massive task this weekend when they travel to Leinster.

Verdict: Leinster 1/16
While I do expect the scoreline to be narrower than last week, I can still see Leinster winning this one by more than 15 points.

Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks
Sunday 15 December
Sandy Park

To Win (80 Mins)
Exeter 1/12
Draw 30/1
Sale 6/1

Exeter will be looking to all but wrap up their qualification to the next round of the tournament when they take on Gallagher Premiership rivals, the Sale Sharks, this Sunday. The hosts have won all three of their Heineken Cup matches and come into this one off a controversial 20-22 away victory over the Sharks.

Their opponents, on the other hand, only have one win thus far and need to record an upset victory here if they are to remain in contention for a play-off berth.

Verdict: Exeter 1/12
While Sale will be determined to upset the applecart after being somewhat robbed this past weekend, I cannot see them doing this at Sandy Park. I fancy the hosts to take it by more than ten points.

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