Couch Critic previews selected Pro14 and English Premiership rugby matches taking place from 29th November to 1st December with best bets from @Olimp_SA
The Champions Cup takes a break after back-to-back weekends which means we revert back to the Europeans all slugging it out in their respective “domestic” leagues. Here are a few plays that stand out for me this coming weekend.
GUINNESS PRO 14
Munster vs Edinburgh (Friday @ 21:35)
The Irish side have clearly opted to use this week to rest some players as they look to balance their approach to targeting success in both the Pro 14 as well as the Champions Cup. With an important clash against Saracens next Saturday in the last-mentioned comp Munster have only retained one player from the team that drew with Racing last week as they are seemingly looking to peak with a fresh team on 6 December.
Edinburgh have looked sharp this season and are clearly focussed on taking a positive forward step in with regard to their position on the Conference B log given their team selection. Scottish internationals, Stuart McInally and Hamish Watson make their return to the team. Apart from those two returning players in the pack, also watch out for the lethal back three of Kinghorn, Eroni Sau and Van der Merwe.
Betting angle: Munster weren’t all that impressive last week and this week Van Graan has selected an almost exclusively academy side with their flyhalf making his Pro 14 debut. There is no other bet than backing the Scots to walk away with the victory in this one.
Benneton vs Cardiff (Saturday @ 17:00)
Betting angle: I’ve been relatively impressed by the Italians at home whilst the Blues have hardly shot the lights out. Add to this the fact that Wales are in action this week and I certainly won’t be backing Cardiff to find much love in Italy.
Connacht vs Kings (Saturday @ 19:15)
The Kings finally picked up a 2019 Pro 14 victory a few weeks ago and also a very rare away win for the men from the Eastern Cape of South Africa. However Connacht are hardly the Ospreys. The Irish team are particularly tough at home and will be pushing hard for a victory to move them up the table and toward a playoff spot. The home team should have a few internationals in their ranks whilst the South Africans have suffered some major injury setbacks. Vellerman and Catrakilis are crucial players who are missing with injury whilst Juan Schoeman’s loan period has come to an end.
Betting angle: The Kings will do well to keep things respectable, but the chances are that Connacht could really cut loose here.
BETOLIMP BEST BET:
Ospreys vs Cheetahs (Saturday @ 21:35)
The Cheetahs have continued their normal trend of struggling to convert strong home form into success across the pond. The Bloem boys have also yet to taste success with new coach Hawies Fourie in the saddle. Ospreys have only picked up one victory in the tournament thus far and they have been pretty poor throughout.
Betting angle: Surely the States will finally right the ship and pick up a vital win away in Europe. The handicap has gone out a bit which makes it a bit tougher to call but the home team are without a number of players and there are some administrative issues in camp as well it seems.
Bath vs Saracens (Friday @ 21:45)
We’ve covered this before, Saracens have made it clear that they are targeting a strong effort in the Premiership to make up for their log points penalty. The defending champions pitch up in Bath with their big names present. Bath in contrast have been disappointing for mind.
Betting angle: There is no way I will be opposing these Saracens in England anytime soon.
Bristol vs London Irish (Sunday @ 17:00)
Betting angle: Surely the hottest property in the Premiership at present, the Bears have been flying whilst Irish haven’t looked all that flash.
ENGLISH PREMIERSHIP BETS
Note, odds quoted are available at the time of writing but are subject to change