Saturday’s European Champions Cup predictions and rugby union advice | Sports News

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Sam Barnes

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Munster wing Simon Zebo

Sam Barnes

Free rugby tips, best bets and analysis for Saturday’s European Champions Cup matches.

Sale against Bristol

where to watch

Channel 4 & BT Sport 3, 1 p.m.

Best bet

Sale to win by one to 12 points
1pt 13-10 bet365

Match Preview

An all-English clash kicks off Saturday’s round of 16, and with Sale still having some work to do to qualify for the playoffs, they’ve put together a solid squad for this first leg.

Neither side have been in great form – Sale have won one in their last five Premiership outings, Bristol one in seven – and a close and scrappy game looks very likely, although the two-legged format could mean that the hosts feel more pressured to build a score.

But it’s not always easy for a team to stray from their plan, and considering that 12 of Sale’s 20 league games this season have been decided by 12 points or less while three others have been draws, a narrow home win seems the best bet.


Bordeaux against La Rochelle

where to watch

BT Sport ESPN, 1 p.m.

Best bet

La Rochelle
1pt 13-8 coral

Match Preview

Bordeaux climb high in the Top 14 but that’s not always a good sign for a French club’s commitment to Europe, and they are on a one-fifth winning streak.

La Rochelle won 16-15 at Bordeaux last weekend and given their stronger European pedigree – they were beaten in the final last year – they look like they have good value to repeat the feat.


Toulouse v Ulster

where to watch

BT Sport 3, 3:15 p.m.

Best bet

Toulouse-10
2 points 10-11 bet365

Match Preview

Ulster are the top-seeded team in their half of the table, but a trip to reigning European champions Toulouse is a tough one, and Ulster’s 12-point underdogs will likely be happy if they can keep him close for next week’s return to Belfast.

Conversely, Toulouse will want to make the most of the home advantage in the first leg and with creative spark Antoine Dupont at scrum-half, they can pull away for a double-digit winning margin.


Exeter v Munster

where to watch

BT Sports 3, 5:30 p.m.

Best bet

Muenster +7
3pts 10-11 general

Match Preview

It’s every inch a heavyweight contest and Munster look set to give their all in the first leg.

Although they were beaten by Leinster last weekend, this run-out will see Munster battle against an Exeter side who are struggling to come out on top as they have in previous seasons.

The Chiefs have lost their last two matches and their last nine Premiership wins have all been by single digit margins, so the visitors are looking at the bet with a seven point start.


Stade Français against Racing

where to watch

BT Sports Extra, 5:30 p.m.

Best bet

Race to win by 15 points or more
1pt 5-2 Betfair, Paddy Power

Match Preview

Stade Français’ lack of interest in this competition was evident in the first round when they sent a weakened side to Connacht and were beaten 36-9.

They are 11th in the Top 14 and were beaten 53-20 at city rivals Racing last week, so it’s hard to see them turning the tide against the top seeds in their half of the draw.

The handicap is set at seven points and it’s worth taking the higher prizes on a much more convincing win, as Racing would surely like to end the tie early.


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FIRST PUBLICATION AT 3:40 PM, APRIL 8, 2022

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