Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Heineken Champions Cup: Round 4 Pools 3, 4 and 5 Preview

Heineken Champions Cup: Round 4 Pools 3, 4 and 5 Preview

Cadan Murley of Harlequins escapes Andrew Kellaway of Northampton

Shaun Goosen takes a look at Pools 3, 4 and 5 of round four of the Heineken Champions Cup taking place between Friday 13 December and Sunday 15 December. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Harlequins v Ulster
Friday 13 December
Twickenham Stoop
21:45

To Win Match
Harlequins 12/10
Draw 20/1
Ulster 7/10

Harlequins will seek revenge when they host Ulster in a rematch of last week’s game at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday.

The Quins were condemned to a one point loss last Saturday after just coming unstuck at the Ravenhill. They looked likely to claim a narrow win heading into the final minutes, but a last-gasp John Cooney penalty put pay to hopes of recording a second win in the competition.

They will get another shot on Friday as they attempt to haul in the pool front-runners and should feel more confident playing in front of their home support.

Verdict: Harlequins by five
The way Ulster are playing, it will be tight again but Quins should claim that second win.

Racing 92 v Ospreys
Friday 13 December
La Defense Arena
21:45

To Win Match
Racing 92 1/100
Draw 30/1
Ospreys 12/1

Racing 92 should prove too much for Ospreys once again when they clash at La Defense Arena on Friday.

The Parisians ran out 40-19 victors in the reverse match in Swansea last week and will be eager to claim another resounding win at home.

Ospreys weren’t helped by the red card shown to Dan Evans inside the opening minute but were still well outclassed on the day. Not much should change come Friday.
Juan Imhoff of Racing 92 during the European Rugby Challenge Cup, Pool 4 match between Ospreys and Racing 92
Racing really should have the measure of a poor Osprey's side at the La Defense Arena.

Verdict: Racing by 14
Racing should extend their unbeaten start in Europe this weekend.

Connacht Rugby v Gloucester 
Saturday 14 December
Galway Greyhound Stadium
14:45

To Win Match
Connacht 13/20
Draw 20/1
Gloucester 12/10

Connacht can keep alive their slim playoff hopes with a win over Gloucester in Galway on Saturday.

With just three points separating second from fourth in Pool 5, victory for the Irishmen – themselves currently occupying fourth – will be even more crucial as the competition progresses. A loss could spell the end for them.

They fell 17-26 at Gloucester last week but should put in a better shift at home on Saturday.

The Englishmen have been pretty ordinary so far this season and may come unstuck this weekend.

Verdict: Connacht by five
The hosts should claim a narrow win to keep Pool 5’s intrigue alive. 

Montpellier v Toulouse
Saturday 14 December
Altrad Stadium
17:00

To Win Match
Montpellier 1/1
Draw 20/1
Toulouse 8/10

Toulouse will need to put in a big shift if they are to maintain their winning run when they travel to the Altrad Stadium to face Montpellier on Saturday.

The defending Top 14 champions recorded a 23-9 win at home last week. On Saturday they will be up for an entirely new challenge, however.

Montpellier are now desperate for a win after two losses. Another defeat will put them in serious danger of missing out on a place in the quarterfinals.

They will up their game and should claim the win to give their season a much-needed boost.

Cheslin KOLBE of Toulouse during the European Rugby Champions Cup
Toulouse will look to make it back to back European wins when the face Montpellier this weekend. 

Verdict: Montpellier by eight
The hosts should pip it in the south of France.

Saracens v Munster
Saturday 14 December
Allianz Park
17:00

To Win Match
Saracens 1/6
Draw 30/1
Munster 15/4

An under-pressure Saracens outfit should put in a much-improved showing against Munster at Allianz Park on Saturday.

With their European hopes hanging in the balance following last week’s 10-3 defeat to the men from Limerick at Thomond Park, the defending champions’ desperation is expected to lift them to a bigger performance this weekend.

Munster may have European aspirations of their own, and they will certainly challenge the Londoners, but they may just fall short on Saturday.

Verdict: Saracens by 10
With their big names expected to return, Saracens should just about take it.

Clermont Auvergne v Bath
Sunday 15 December
Stade Marcel Michelin
17:15

To Win Match
Clermont 1/25
Draw 30/1
Bath 8/1

Clermont should claim another comprehensive win over Bath at the Stade Michelin on Sunday.

Last week’s 34-17 win at the Rec was never in doubt as Franck Azema’s men thoroughly outclassed their opponents in front of their home support.

More of the same will be expected this weekend, with Bath’s poor away form set to continue.

Samuel EZEALA of Clermont during the Top 14 match between Clermont and Agen at Stade Marcel Michelin
Clermont are widely expected to cruise to victory over Bath this Sunday.

Verdict: Clermont by 15
Clermont will be far too good and should take it comfortably.

Written for Hollywoodbets by Shaun Goosen. 

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