Fiddes' Cent

Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes explains his fancies from Saturday's Heineken Cup action

By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @JordanFiddes85.   Last Updated: 18/01/13 9:15pm

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Steve Myler: Backed to kick Northampton to victory

Steve Myler: Backed to kick Northampton to victory

Sky Bet

It's the final Pool matches of the Heineken Cup this weekend and, with coaches experimenting with their squads, there is plenty of value to be had throughout.

There were few surprises last weekend but now that some teams have already qualified and others are fighting for survival, we could see a few turn-ups in the formbook.

My weekend banker comes in the form of Northampton Saints on the handicap at 10/11.

The Sky Bet traders have given the Saints a -4 handicap but we can expect them to beat this comfortably when they travel to Glasgow on Saturday.

Knowing that only a bonus-point victory will get them through, Northampton will be bringing out all the big guns to win this one comprehensively.

They have named an unchanged side from the one that beat Castres 18-12 last week, which includes Steve Myler, who scored three penalties in the win.

If Northampton triumph via a bonus-point they will be on 19 points which has, traditionally, been enough to ensure progression as one of the best-placed runners-up.

In their last five meetings, Northampton have beaten Glasgow on four occasions and boast an impressive record against sides north of the boarder, winning their last nine encounters against Scottish opposition.

Although they are relying on other results, the best Northampton can do is score four tries to earn that bonus-point win.

Intimidating

One of the results the Saints will be keeping an eye on is Leinster's trip to Sandy Park to take on the Exeter Chiefs.

Reigning champions Leinster have their own fate entirely in their own hands as, unlike the men from Franklin's Gardens, they know that a bonus-point victory will definitely see them through as one of the best runners-up.

Therefore the incentive should be enough for them to beat the handicap of -9, again at 10/11. The three-time Heineken Cup winners have not lost a Round Six encounter since they visited Leicester in 2007/8.

Exeter beat Leinster 9-6 in Dublin back in Round One and will be fancying their chances this weekend.

However, back then Exeter were an unknown quantity to the European competition.

This time, with their necks on the line, the Irish club know what to expect and have named a strong line-up to take them past a nine-point margin.

With their fate hanging by a thread, I expect that the extra points needed will give them enough impetus to beat the nine-point handicap this week.

Finally, I'm backing a home side at last in the form of Castres.

Ulster are slight favourites to continue their fine form in the competition but they have a terrible record in France.

The Irish province has played in France 14 times and the best they have managed is a 35-all draw against Toulouse in 2000.

Castres have an intimidating crowd behind them and, for a team who have never visited the Stade Pierre Antoine, it's a daunting place to play.

The Top 14 side have won three of their last four home games in the Heineken Cup, including an impressive 21-16 victory against Northampton back in October.

Castres are even money to win this one so I would scrap the handicap and back them outright.

A word from the Sky Bet trading room...

"This is the toughest weekend to market in the Heineken Cup with six teams all strong and pushing for the last four places in the quarter-finals.

"If their points are tied at the end of the pool stage then it goes down to who has the most tries.

"Neither Northampton nor Leinster have many tries to their name so will be looking to cross as often as possible.

"Montpellier need the win to see themselves go through and they face a Toulon side who have already qualified. Nagusa is a good bet for the first try at 8/1.

"He's scored seven tries in 18 games this season, but more impressively three in five in the Heineken Cup.

"If you want a bigger bet, however, Bustos Maximilano at 33/1 is nice with him scoring two in eight starts this season from prop.

"My favourite game for this weekend is the Saracens v Edinburgh match. Both are flying high in the league so it should be a competitive game. Saracens are -19 for the handicap but I think it will be closer, I fancy Saracens to win by 1-12 points at 21/10.

"Tim Visser has a record of scoring in 45 per cent of his games, and, although he is seeing a draught at the moment, I think he could turn on the style."

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