Final predictions

Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes expects records to be broken in the last four this weekend

By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @SkyJordanFiddes.   Last Updated: 25/04/14 8:26pm

  • Share:
David Strettle: Boosted to score the first try this weekend

David Strettle: Boosted to score the first try this weekend

Sky Bet

The bookmakers were able to predict two of the four semi-finalists but the sides from British shores have certainly upset the odds somewhat.

Saracens were an attractive 14/1 to win this year's Heineken Cup with Munster just behind at 22/1.

It's the French sides, however, who have dominated the market from start to finish.

They remain the shortest prices to win the competition this year - and rightly so as they avenged two other giants of the Cup in Leicester and Ulster en route.

Just like last year, Toulon are slightly behind their French rivals at 13/8 to win the whole thing - but there is not much in this given their one-point victory over Verm Cotter's men in 2013.

Favourites Clermont will take on a Saracens side soaring high in the domestic competition and brimming with confidence after recent victories over fellow title contenders Northampton and Ulster in this competition.

Former England winger David Strettle has been in fine form for the English side, crossing for his tenth Premiership try in the recent victory over the Saints.

He's been boosted to 12/1 to open the scoring with Sky Bet this weekend which is good value given he has scored three tries in his last two Heineken Cup games.

No English side has won a Heineken Cup semi-final at Twickenham Stadium so it's easy to see why the bookies give them a two-point head start in the handicap market.

Even that seems a little short, however, given that Sarries have been knocked out by French opposition in the last two years - Toulon last year and Clermont themselves in 2012.

Jonny Wilkinson: Will be crucial in Toulon's attempt to hold onto their European crown

Paying the penalty

It's expected to be a little more one-sided in the other semi-final as holders Toulon continue their defence at 1/4 against Munster.

The Irish outfit will be looking to prevent Toulon becoming only the third team in history to retain their Heineken Cup title.

They are currently 11/4 to do so which seems appealing given this will be their 11th Heineken Cup semi-final - and lock Paul O'Connell's eighth.

He'll lead the team out this weekend with club captain Paul O'Mahony ruled out and the two-time winner is a popular bet to claim the man of the match award amongst punters.

To stack the odds even more in Toulon's favour, this is the first time a Heineken Cup fixture has been played in Marseille, yet it's an arena the French have competed in many times in the Top 14 domestic league.

Therefore Jonny Wilkinson and his men have a -8 handicap to overcome but with the former England number 10 kicking the penalties, this seems a realistic task.

  • Share:

Most Popular

Features

The Off Load

The Off Load

Rupert Cox reviews the weekend's rugby including another win for New Zealand and a loss for Toulouse.

English Rose

English Rose

The values of English rugby were underlined on Monday as they launched their new kit in association with Canterbury.

Mental edge

Mental edge

Thinus Delport, Sean Fitzpatrick, Michael Lynagh and Gonzalo Camacho react to the Rugby Championship