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Nic Ladds 4th Dec 2008 - 18:21

Cardiff hoping to make it a blue day for Biarritz

Cardiff take on Biarritz in what promises to be one of the most exciting matches of the Heineken Cup so far.

Cardiff are priced at 1/5 in the match betting and should they win they will give themselves some breathing space at the top of Pool Six in which they currently lie first on 10 points.

Biarritz who are 10/3 in the match betting will be hoping they can overtake Cardiff if they can gain some bonus points by winning well and boosting their tally of five points.

The French side currently sit in second just above Gloucester who have four points, but the West Country side face an easy looking clash against Italian minnows Calvisano in what is one of the strongest pools.

Cardiff are missing Wales centre Jamie Roberts but Tom Shanklin will come in for him and at 14/1 to score the first try is an able replacement for the crocked Welshman.

Cardiff also welcome back Welsh international prop Gethin Jenkins to give their pack a much more menacing look and they will be hoping to really ruffle the French team's feathers. The front row man is available at 40/1 to score the first try.

At 10/1 to go over first, the hugely experienced Gareth Thomas will command the Cardiff back line and look to him to pull the strings going forward.

Biarritz sit second in their Heineken Cup pool and will be desperate to win to join Cardiff at the top of the pool and restore some harmony to the club.

Reports that the club are in disarray have marred Biarittz's build-up to the match and the French team come into the game having lost five matches in a row.

This run has seen them plummet down the Top 14 table to 10th and they will be looking to get their season back on track by winning against Cardiff.

Cardiff are giving up a reasonable 11 points on the handicap and with home advantage and better form look good at 10/11 to cover this margin.

Biarritz will be looking to kicker Julien Peyrelongue to get some points on the board with the boot or he can be backed at 25/1 for the first try with their main threat coming from winger Takudzwa Ngwenya at 12/1 to go over first.

The Blues could not be taking on the French outfit at a better time and will be confident of taking maximum points. They will look to score some bonus points which would see them go clear at the top of the pool and thus a near certainty to qualify for the next stage.

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