Results from last weekend should give us a good indication of what to expect from the return fixture, but at the halfway stage of the pool phase, there’s an extra complication.
The European campaign for some teams is already over. Those that have lost two or three matches have already had any qualification hopes dashed, and the question is how competitive they will be in their remaining pool matches.
I’ve picked two away wins to kick off the round, backing Cardiff to beat Edinburgh despite the typically Scottish conditions they’re likely to face, and I’ve gone for a Sarries win against the Ospreys which is slightly controversial.
Leicester v Clermont is another tricky one, but I’m predicting the home side to bounce back from their convincing defeat last weekend to win at Welford Road. If they don’t, they’ll be out of the tournament, so they won’t be short of motivation, so I’ve gone the other way to Ben in his Key Clash Preview.
I can see home wins for London Irish, Gloucester, Leinster, Munster and Toulouse, all of whom won away last week, and then I’ve gone for a Glasgow win at Montpellier. Looking at the home side’s team sheet, it appears they are resting a few key players ahead of tough domestic fixtures, and so hopefully the Warriors can make them pay.
Finally, I’ve predicted Northampton Saints to record their first win of the tournament. Both sides are as good as out, and a few of the big guns are rested, but I’m hoping that home advantage will do the trick for Saints.
Here are my Heineken Cup predictions for Round 4. Let me know what you think.
Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues: Cardiff Blues by 5
Ospreys v Saracens: Saracens by 5
Biarritz v Benetton Treviso: Biarritz by 18
Leicester Tigers v ASM Clermont Auvergne: Leicester Tigers by 5
Aironi Rugby v Ulster: Ulster by 13
London Irish v Racing Metro 92: London Irish by 8
Gloucester Rugby v Connacht Rugby: Gloucester Rugby by 9
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors: Glasgow Warriors by 5
Leinster v Bath: Leinster by 13
Munster v Scarlets: Munster by 6
Northampton Saints v Castres Olympique: Northampton Saints by 5
Toulouse v Harlequins: Toulouse by 8