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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Chiefs should take charge in Glasgow

Exeter's Jonny Hill (pink shirt) punches a hole in Montpellier's defence
1 of 1

Montpellier v Leinster
Sky Action, 1pm Saturday
Leinster arrive into the final weekend of pool-stage action as the only side with their place already booked in the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup following a demolition of Glasgow six days ago.

Montpellier, who are top of the Top 14 table in France, will be hoping for a minor miracle, as they must better Exeter’s result to have a chance of getting through as second-place qualifiers.

With Exeter visiting bottom side Glasgow, that is unlikely, and the French side may have already set their sights on a domestic away trip to Clermont next weekend.

Leinster have made six changes from last week’s team and need just one point to progress to the quarter-finals as top seeds. Montpellier however, have named a star-studded 15 including a half-back pairing of Ruan Pieenar and Aaron Cruden, and they’ll look to give themselves the best chance possible of making the last eight with a win.

Recommendation
Montpellier
1pt 10-11 general


Glasgow v Exeter
BT Sport 3, 1pm Saturday
Exeter are still in the hunt for qualification as one of the best second-placed teams and a bonus-point victory at bottom side Glasgow can give them a great chance of making the quarter-finals.

The Chiefs will have no fear of a Glasgow side they beat 24-15 at home in round one, and with Glasgow already confirmed to finish last in Pool Three, the Premiership table-toppers should cover the handicap at Scotstoun.

Recommendation
Exeter -9
2pts 10-11 general


Saracens v Northampton
BT Sport 3, 3.15pm Saturday
Back-to-back champions Saracens find themselves relying on results elsewhere to book their place in the quarter-finals, but they will be keen to concentrate on their own performance first.

They demolished Northampton in round one of Pool Two, and they should hope to repeat the dose against a Saints side with just pride left to play for.

Last week however, Northampton pulled out a huge performance to defeat pool-toppers Clermont at Franklin’s Gardens, and although the result won’t matter this weekend, they’ll be keen to keep up that form before they return to Premiership action next weekend. A bonus-point victory looks on the cards for Saracens, but Northampton should be capable of keeping within a huge handicap.

Recommendation
Northampton +25
1pt 10-11 bet365 


Clermont v Ospreys
BT Sport 2, 3.15pm Saturday
It’s a straight shootout for top spot in Pool Two at Marcel Michelin this afternoon with Clermont going into the final round knowing that a draw will seal top spot.

The French side will be extremely disappointed with their performance at Northampton and will be keen to put that performance behind them and secure a home quarter-final.

Ospreys have saved their best performances for the Champions Cup this season, and will take confidence from their narrow defeat at home to Clermont in round one and their draw against Saracens. The handicap for the Ospreys looks generous.

Recommendation
Ospreys +11
1pt 10-11 bet365 


Scarlets full-back Leigh Halfpenny returns against Toulon

Scarlets v Toulon
Sky Action, 5.30pm Saturday
It’s winner-takes-all between Scarlets and Toulon with just one point separating the teams at the top of Pool Five. Toulon scrapped their way to victory over Scarlets in round one, and with both teams winning handsomely last weekend, this could be one of the ties of round six.

Scarlets welcome back Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny to their matchday 23, and with Mathieu Bastareaud serving his first week of his suspension, Scarlets will be confident of taking a victory this weekend and collecting top spot in Pool Five in the process.

Recommendation
Scarlets -6
2pts 10-11 general 


Treviso v Bath
BT Sport 3, 5.30pm Saturday
Bath’s future in the Champions Cup is out of their hands but they will expect to collect all five points in Italy, and hope Scarlets can give them a helping hand into the quarter-final by denying Toulon any points.

Bath failed to get a bonus point at home against Treviso in round one – a dropped point that could come back to haunt them – so they will be keen to get points on the board early and should have a comprehensive lead before the 40-minute mark.

Recommendation
Bath -11 on first-half handicap
1pt 10-11 bet365


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It’s winner-takes-all between Scarlets and Toulon with just one point separating the teams at the top of Pool Five
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