This weekend sees the final set of fixtures in this season’s Heineken Cup pool stage and there’s still a lot to be resolved as to who qualifies for the knockout stages later this year.
The top-placed side from each pool qualifies for the quarter-finals automatically and then two of the teams with the best records additionally qualify from each pool, meaning a try could be the vital difference between going through and not going through.
Leinster v Ospreys (Friday)
Leinster are almost guaranteed qualification from Pool 1 and know a draw or better over Welsh side Ospreys would make that a certainty.
The Irish side defeated Ospreys 19-9 when they last met in the Heineken Cup back in October whilst their previous RaboDirect Pro 12 meeting ended in a entertaining 29-29 draw.
Richardt Strauss makes a surprise return to the Leinster bench tonight after making a speedy recovering from a hand injury whilst Ryan Jones returns for the visitors after missing the last two matches with a hamstring issue.
Watch this game live on Sky Sports 2 from 8pm, with the other Pool 1 match between Northampton Saints and Casters Olympique available on the red button.
Leicester Tigers v Ulster (Saturday)
The pick of the games on Saturday evening is sees second v first from Pool 5 face each other with the winner guaranteed top spot in the group.
Both sides are guaranteed progress into the quarters either by way of finishing top or having the best record to qualify in second so there isn’t any real pressure on the outcome of the match.
Leicester have had a disappointing season in the Aviva Premiership and currently lie fifth although four wins from five in the Heineken Cup has meant Europe has been a far happier hunting ground.
Ulster, meanwhile, have won five out of five in Europe this season, including a 22-16 victory over the Tigers in the first gameweek.
Leicester are 8/13 favourites with Ladbrokes but I could see Ulster possibly pulling a win out of what is sure to be a very tight game. My BET OF THE DAY is on an Ulster win with Betfred pricing that at 13/8.
Catch this match live on Sky Sports 2 from 6pm. Earlier in the day, you can also watch Saracens v Connacht from 1:35pm and Glasgow v Toulon from 3:40pm on this channel.
Munster v Edinburgh (Sunday)
Edinburgh need to pull out a surprise win against Munster on Sunday afternoon if there to stand any chance of progressing to the quarter-finals by way of the best-placed second place spots.
They are currently on 12 points but will be up against it away at a daunting Thomond Park in Limerick as they search for a vital win.
Munster currently top the Pro 12 league and are in good form having won five of their last six games so go into this encounter as favourites, with Stan James providing the best odds of 1/14. If you fancy a punt on Edinburgh then Paddy Power offer the best odds of 10/1.
You can catch this one live on Sky Sports 2 from 12:45pm with the all-French Pool 2 match between Clermont Auvergne and Racing Metro following at 3pm.
Check out the best odds from all of this weekend’s Heineken Cup matches with BritBets by clicking HERE.
You can also claim free bets with the Paddy Power betting app by clicking HERE.