We’ve reached the quarter-final stages in Europe and it’s time to make some more SportGuru picks.
I’ve gone for four home wins in the Amlin Challenge Cup this weekend, and here is why.
Stade Francais Paris v Exeter Chiefs: Stade Francais Paris by 8
How brilliant it is to see Exeter taking on the French fancies in European competition, and I would love them to progress in this tournament. There’s a chance they could go all the way, but the smart thing for them would be to focus on finishing in the top 6 in the Premiership – and possibly even the top 4.
I’m backing Stade to win this one in Paris, but I’m looking forward to seeing the Chiefs have a good crack at Parisians and will be cheering them on.
Toulon v Harlequins: Toulon by 6
Toulon love a draw, having tied four matches in the Top 14 season, so whilst I wouldn’t be surprised with a stalemate against Quins, I’m never picking a draw on SportGuru.
The home side lost away to Brive last weekend, but they have only lost one home match all season, and that was at the beginning of September.
Quins were impressive against Sarries at Wembley, but I can’t help feeling that this competition will not be a priority. They’ve already qualified for the Heineken Cup next year and will be focused on winning the Premiership having led for so long, and a defeat in Toulon would not be the end of the world.
London Wasps v Biarritz: London Wasps by 5
This is probably the most controversial pick, but I’ve gone for a Wasps win at Adams Park. I’m not 100% sure why, but I think their win over Gloucester last week would have given them confidence of staying up, and this tournament represents a chance to qualify for the Heineken Cup.
Biarritz haven’t exactly been lighting up the Top 14 and I can see them being rather laissez-faire about this fixture, whilst Wasps will have a bit of their mojo back.
Brive v Scarlets: Brive by 6
I’ve gone for another home win to cap off the round on the basis that the South of France is not an easy place to go and win.
I like watching the Scarlets play, but their away form in the RaboDirect Pro12 hasn’t been particularly strong this season, and I think the home side will edge it.
What do you think? Will any of the away teams prove me wrong? Here are Lawrence Dallaglio’s thoughts: