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Nic Ladds 22nd Jan 2010 - 20:54

No more chances - crunch time in the Heineken Cup

The final round of Heineken Cup Pool matches sees some vital clashes between the biggest teams around all vying to get a favoured draw in the quarter finals while some will be happy to just make it through making for a thrilling Saturday of rugby union action.

Ospreys v Leicester - 13:00 live on Sky Sports 2

A winner takes all game here with is being safe to assume that whoever wins goes through and whoever loses is out unless Clermont lose to Viadana which you just can't see happening and the closeness is demonstrated in the match prices with Ospreys 4/6 to put 6/5 Leicester to the sword.

Ospreys coach Sean Holley makes just once personnel change for the game with James Hook coming in at centre which means Sonny Parker drops to the bench and the Wales and Lions star is 14/1 to reward his coach with the first try while in a side oozing with talent, Shane Williams is 10/1 to go over first with Tommy Bowe 9/1.

The Welsh side have lost just once in six games and have an unbeaten home record in Europe stretching back 13 games with ironically the last side to win at the Liberty Stadium being Leicester back in 2005.

The Tigers have lost Tom Croft which is a blow so Craig Newby comes in while Martin Castrogiovanni and Ben Kay are back in the squad and on the bench. Johne Murphy and Lote Tuqiri (both 11/1 for first try) will need to be at their devastating best but the biggest plus could be the return of Lewis Moody at openside and he could be worth a back at 33/1 for first try or 9/2 to score anytime.

The handicap has the Ospreys giving up three points at 10/11 and in line with this a winning margin of 1-5 is 4/1 favourite with 6-10 at 11/2 or if you fancy a famous Tigers win a 1-5 point win is 9/2.

Expect a titanic battle in Cardiff with Toby Flood in particular needing to improve on his goal-kicking from recent weeks as it could prove crucial. The Ospreys are just the selection due to the all important home advantage, a factor which may well ultimately see Leicester's exit from the competition.

Ospreys v Leicester betting

Bath v Ulster - 15:30 live on Sky Sports 2

Ulster come in to the game needing to win and win well to ensure qualification through to the quarter finals but they face a strong Bath side who are playing for nothing but pride but are 4/9 favourites with the Irish side at 13/8 to get that vital win.

Ulster need to win and hope other results go their way to cement a place in the next round so expect them to fly out but their away form has left something to be desired and Bath will want to keep their momentum going and as a result they are giving up five points at odds of 10/11.

Bath make just one change with Stuart Hooper replacing Peter Short and a strong side including Matt Banahan (10/1 for first try), Matt Carraro (14/1) and Six Nations call-up Shontayne Hape (14/1) show that Bath aren't about to roll over in this.

Ulster have many weapons in their attacking arsenal also and they will be looking to the likes of Simon Danielli (12/1), Andrew Trimble (12/1) and Darren Cave (16/1) to get them the tries they so desperately need.

Expect a fiery match and Ulster are worth a wager to win this game given their need and the fact they are sure to go all out to secure victory but Bath will be able to play relaxed and frustrate the away side and as so often seen, a side that has nothing to play for can often be extremely dangerous.

Bath v Ulster betting

London Irish v Leinster - 17:45 live on Sky Sports 2

Arguably the biggest game of the season for London Irish as a win would almost certainly see them through but a loss would almost certainly send them crashing out and with home advantage they look a fair bet at odds of 6/5 to beat the holders Leinster who are 4/6.

The away side will certainly be going for it as a win will cement a home draw in the quarter finals and on top of that they will be looking for revenge for the defeat the Exiles inflicted on them in the opening game of this Heineken Cup campaign.

Irish welcome back Topsy Ojo and Salosi Tagicakibau (both 12/1 for first try) on the wings which means devastating pace and Leinster having to be on their guard all afternoon. Add to these two Delon Armitage (16/1) and Elvis Sevealai'l and the away defence could on paper be in for a tough afternoon although Chris Malone who comes in at fly half could be targeted as a possible weak link.

Leinster do ooze class and Brian O'Driscoll (11/1) will be leading his troops the only way he knows how, at full pace and the home defence will have to watch for Shane Horgan (10/1), Rob Kearney (14/1) and Gordon D'Arcy (14/1) to name but a few of the big threats.

This may be low scoring due to the even matching of the teams and Irish receiving a three point head start looks the call at 10/11 or a winning margin or 1-5 at 9/2 looks about right in a game that will be desperately tight, ooze quality all over the pitch and ultimately could see the Exiles do the double over the reigning champions and cement their place in the quarter finals.

London Irish v Leinster betting

 
 
 

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