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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Scarlets primed to take advantage of Racing's inconsistency

Munsyer can pip Exeter to top spot in pool two

Scarlets winger Johnny McNicholl scores in the corner against Leinster in last season's Pro 14 final
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Pool One
4-11 Leinster, 15-2 Toulouse, 8 Wasps, 22 Bath
There are some big prices about Leinster’s pool rivals but while any one of Toulouse, Wasps and Bath could spring a shock along the way,  it’s hard to see any of them denying the holders top spot.

Honours have been evenly shared when Leinster have faced former winners Toulouse and Wasps in the past.

But the French side were absent from this tournament last year while Wasps can’t match Leinster’s clinical edge and defensive strength.


Pool Two
10-11 Exeter, 2 Munster, 12 Gloucester, 14 Castres

Munster have already been put up as trophy contenders so the 2-1 about them pipping Exeter for top spot looks a decent price.

Along with Saracens, Exeter have been a class apart in the Premiership but have yet to prove they have bridged the gulf to Europe.

Gloucester are back at this level for the first time in four years while French champions Castres seemingly can’t win away from home, with a record of just four road victories in 40 attempts.

Recommendation
Munster
1pt 2-1 bet365, Betfair, Betway


Pool Three
1-5 Saracens, 10 Glasgow,  20 Lyon, 33 Cardiff

It’s 10-1 bar favourites Saracens and that pretty much sums up the strength of the opposition.

Lyon are making their first appearance at this level, Cardiff have been absent for four seasons, and Glasgow won just one pool match last season.


Champions Cup tournament preview

Leinster v Wasps preview

Challenge Cup tournament preview


Pool Four

13-8 Racing, 15-8 Scarlets,  9-2 Leicester, 8 Ulster

Racing made the final last season but didn’t top their pool and they look worth taking on again.

The Paris outfit have won 21 of 48 pool matches in their eight European campaigns and for all the talent in their squad, they have not been consistent.

Leicester have made a difficult start to the season while Ulster still have injury concerns so Scarlets, semi-finalists last season, look a worthwhile wager for a bright campaign.

Recommendation
Scarlets
2pts 15-8 Betway, Hills


Pool Five
4-5 Montpellier, 2 Toulon,14 Edinburgh, 33 Newcastle 

Edinburgh and Newcastle might not be ideal away trips for French teams known to favour their home comforts, but neither club is likely to have a say in this pool and it looks a straight shootout between the Top 14 sides.

Toulon boast the European pedigree that Montpellier lack but the prices look right on current form.

Toulon lie close to the bottom of the table and aren’t quite the star-studded outfit they were in their glory days.

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The Paris outfit have won 21 of 48 pool matches in their eight European campaigns
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