Heineken Champions Cup 2019/20: Round 1 Predictions

Heineken Cup

The Heineken Champions Cup returns this weekend, with defending champions Saracens mired in controversy and plenty of other teams out to take their title.

Here are my predictions for Round 1.

Gloucester v Toulouse
This is a great fixture to kick things off, with both teams expected to play with width and keep the ball alive. I’m tempted to pick Toulouse after a stellar season last year, but although they’ve won all their home games so far this season, they have lost all of their away games. Gloucester by 4

Bath v Ulster
Both teams can be a bit hit or miss, and whilst Ulster have had a couple of good wins so far this season, I’m leaning towards the home side here. Bath by 3

Glasgow v Sale Sharks
I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Sale winning this, but Glasgow know that in a tough group, they have to win this one at home. Glasgow by 9

Leinster v Treviso
This one is only going one way and should be fairly comfortable for the European heavyweights, although the previous results feature on Superbru tells me that Leinster haven’t beaten Treviso at home since 2016! Europe is a different story though. Leinster by 23

La Rochelle v Exeter
The Chiefs have had some mixed results so far this season, including a defeat at home to Bristol in their most recent league outing, and this is a very tough trip for their European opener. La Rochelle by 7

Ospreys v Munster
These are two familiar PRO14 foes, with Munster having a far superior head to head record – they’ve won the last 9 against the Ospreys, home and away, and we all know how much they love the Heineken Cup. Munster by 13

Clermont v Harlequins
Clermont were thrashed by Toulouse in the Top 14 last week, and they have been beaten at home once this season, but they start as clear favourites against Quins, who lost at home to Worcester last weekend. Clermont by 16

Northampton v Lyon
These two teams are at the top of their respective leagues, and with Leinster also in Pool 1, qualification will be tough. You have to win your home games, and I’m backing the Saints to win at Franklin’s Gardens. Northampton by 4

Connacht v Montpellier
This is a tough trip to Galway, and I don’t normally like backing French teams away from home, but it’s a strong Montpellier squad that has shown signs of life in the last couple of weeks, including a win over Toulouse and a draw away at Toulon last weekend. Connacht meanwhile were thrashed at home by Leinster. Montpellier by 8

Racing v Saracens
Sarries showed plenty of grit after a tough week last week, winning away at Kingsholm just after they were found guilty of breaching the Premiership salary cap. The reigning champions will not be the most popular team in the tournament, and I’ll be waiting for team news to see how seriously they’ll challenge for this tournament, given their points deduction in the league. Racing by 9

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4 thoughts on “Heineken Champions Cup 2019/20: Round 1 Predictions

  1. On a side note what is going on with Gatland? Since stepping down as Wales coach he seems to be unloading on just about anyone and everyone. Welsh players doping, Shaun Edwards career choices, Eddie Jones and England Players… and that’s just this week

  2. I have to disagree with a few of these predictions.

    Toulouse will definitely beat Gloucester. They are arguably the best team in the Top 14 and they will be to classy for an average premiership side.

    Ulster will have no problem beating Bath. They have a bigger pack, and are more skillful. All Bath do is rely on cheap penalties and take three points where they can I will be surprised if Bath even score a try in this game.

    Exeter will be too good for a very average La Rochelle side. The Chiefs are the best team in the premiership and will comfortably win the league this season. The play attacking and attractive Rugby and will be way too good for the French side.

    Connacht have an excellent record at home in the Pro 14. They will be far too strong and powerful for Montpellier. It’s always hard for any opposition going to Connacht, with the small ground and the fans being right in your ear. Should be an easy home win,


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