The Champions Cup returns this weekend and, after a busy international period, Europe’s elite sides will face off against each other.
With some teams already looking ominous, and others fighting to keep their campaigns going for just another week, it is set to be an incredibly exciting weekend of top quality rugby.
Our rugby union expert guides you through the best bets from the upcoming Champions Cup fixtures.
Scarlets v Ulster
Scarlets host Ulster in a battle of Pool 4’s basement boys, with Scarlets in particularly really needing a result.
Last season’s semi-finalists currently sit bottom of Pool 4 with only one point, and will need to get a result against the Irish visitors if they are to have any hope of progressing to the knockout rounds.
Ulster are always dangerous, especially in Europe, and their exciting backline, punctuated by Ireland superstar Jacob Stockdale, can score points in bunches.
Wayne Pivac’s Scarlets side will have their hands full trying to contain Stockdale and co, but are comfortable favourites at 2/7.
Parc y Scarlets is always a difficult place to visit, but I think Ulster have enough about them to get a famous victory, which can be backed at 5/2.
Bath v Leinster
Bath host reigning champions Leinster and, despite not being in quite as serious a predicament as Scarlets, really need a couple of bonus points minimum? for this home game against Leinster.
The West Country outfit have been poor of late, and Freddie Burns’ horror last five minutes against Toulouse has put them in a very uncomfortable position.
Leinster, marshalled by current World Player of the Year Johnny Sexton, are an incredibly challenging foe, and contain a fair amount of the dominant Irish international squad.
Bath are quite rightly big underdogs, and a 13.5-point handicap seems fair. That being said, Leinster will have too much for the hosts, and will leave the Rec with a comfortable victory. Leinster with a -13.5 handicap can be backed at 4/5.
Wasps v Toulouse
Another excellent Pool 1 game, Wasps are in real trouble already in a competitive group. Already five points behind leaders Toulouse, it is vital that they win at the Ricoh Arena this weekend.
With Wasps superstar backline starting to take shape, they will look to the big game experience of Lima Sopoaga and Willie le Roux to stop the incredibly exciting Toulouse back three.
Cheslin Kolbe has been a revelation for both the Springboks and Toulouse, and it should be a tense, cagey affair.
With so much superstar talent on the pitch, it should be excellent for the neutral and incredibly close. Don’t be surprised if the game comes down to a long-range Elliot Daly penalty, and I would back Wasps to win at 8/11, and keep their European hopes alive.