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Nic Ladds 18th Dec 2009 - 21:27

Afternoon action from the Heineken Cup

Saturday's second session of Heineken Cup action sees the Irish duo Leinster and Ulster try and follow up their victories last week before the titanic clash between Leicester and Clermont to finish off the day.

Leinster v Scarlets - 15:45 live on Sky Sports 3

Leinster trounced Scarlets in Wales last week and it is not hard to see why they are 1/12 to record another victory as they name team oozing with international class and the away side would seem to have little chance of a turnaround at 6/1.

The home side are being asked to give up 15 points on the handicap at 10/11 and that should pose little problem given the manner of their victory last week and punters will be steaming in to winning margins of 21-25 at 9/2 and 16-20 at 5/1.

The Scarlets have a host of injuries and only Jonathan Davies last time managed to get over the line and he is 16/1 to score the first try this time. Leinster meanwhile can call on Rob Kearney (14/1 for first try), Shane Horgan (10/1), Brian O'Driscoll (12/1) and Gordon D'Arcy (14/1) to name but a few of their superstars.

Scarlets could still possibly qualify even with defeat but it is not likely but expect a dominant Leinster victory which should see last year's champions safely through to the quarter finals.

Leinster v Scarlets betting

Stade Francais v Ulster - 15:45 live on Sky Sports Red Button

Stade Francais were put firmly in their place in Ireland last week and they will look to respond positively to justify the odds of 1/6 about a home win with Ulster at odds of 7/2.

Stade won convincingly in their last home game 31-7 against Edinburgh and more of the same will be expected as they look to cover a handicap which has them giving up 10 points at 10/11.

The axe has been wielded by the French side as James Haskell, Geoffroy Messina, Ollie Phillips and Benamin Kayser are just four of the names dropped out of the starting XV while Julien Dupuy starts his six month ban for gouging in this fixture last week.

Julien Arias (11/1 for first try) and Mark Gasiner (11/1) will be spearheading the attack for Stade from the wings while Mathieu Bastareaud (14/1) will lead the charge from the centres.

Simon Danielli (12/1) and Timoci Nagusa (12/1) will look to do some damage for Ulster but away from home, it could be a case of damage limitation as a rampant Stade go looking for that much needed victory as otherwise they will be looking over their shoulders at Bath and Edinburgh.

The French side should win this at a canter but it is hard to know which Stade will turn up, the brilliant or the awful and as a result it could be worth chancing Ulster on the handicap receiving a 10 point start in what should be a bruising classic and marvellous entertainment to watch.

Stade Francais v Ulster betting

Leicester v Clermont - 18:00 live on Sky Sports 3

Leicester will be relieved to see Clermont winger Napolioni Nalaga is out of their Heineken Cup game and they will be confident of justifying favouritism at odds of 4/11 with the French side at 2/1.

Clermont won convincingly last week, having the game sewn up before letting their foot off the gas which saw it finish 40-30 and they may feel they can take this at Welford Road.

Leicester are giving up six points at 10/11 on the handicap and in a slightly surprising move, Clermont have moved three of the winning team last week to the bench while the Tigers have England duo Dan Hipkiss (14/1 for first try) and Harry Ellis (20/1) back in the fold.

Clermont move Aurelien Rougerie (12/1) to the wing and poses a big threat with Julien Malzieu (12/1) while Jamie Cudmore crossed the line for the French last week and may tempt some at a big 40/1 for first try or 8/1 to score anytime.

The Tigers have no choice but to win this otherwise their hopes of qualifying look slim and they should be able to win now back on home soil and a margin of 6-10 points at 9/2 looks bang on.

Leicester may not be looking like the same team that got to the final of this last year but what better time to start picking up some form and confidence with a good win against tough opposition, something which on Saturday they should be able to do.

Leicester v Clermont betting

 
 
 

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