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Rupert Wyman 9th Oct 2009 - 19:47

Saturday's Heineken Cup preview

On the opening Saturday of the Heineken Cup four top quality matches are on Sky Sports and we preview each game below.

13:35 - Cardiff Blues v Harlequins

First up are last year's semi-finalists Cardiff Blues against the story of last year's competition for all the wrong reasons - Harlequins.

Quins would love to create some positive headlines with a win in Cardiff and will go into the match full of confidence after their first win of the season last weekend against old rivals Bath. However, I can't see a win for Quins as the absence of Ugo Monye, Danny Care and Nick Easter due to the terms of the EPS agreement severely weakens their side.

Therefore the 2/7 about an opening win for the Blues looks good value. The handicap line gives Cardiff an eight-point deficit to make up and I would expect them to defy it at odds of 10/11.

13:35 - Stade Francais v Edinburgh

At the same time as the Anglo-Welsh affair in Cardiff a Franco-Scottish match-up takes place in Paris as Edinburgh make the trip to the French capital to face Stade Francais.

Stade's Top 14 campaign this term has been blighted by inconsistency as they sit in sixth with just four wins from their nine matches.

One man who will be keen for a Stade victory is ex-Edinburgh full back Hugo Southwell and as the French giants go into the match as 1/10 favourites the Scotland international will more than likely be satisfied with the outcome of the match, however, there is no value in this price.

If Mike Blair gets plenty of ball from his forwards the talented scrum half should be able to give his backs a great chance of at least keeping the score competitive and therefore a better bet looks to be Edinburgh to win on the handicap at 10/11 with a 14-point start.

15:45 - Glasgow v Biarritz

The third match of the day is another France v Scotland tie as Glasgow entertain Biarritz at Firhill. The Warriors come into the match full of confidence after an away win at Cardiff last time out.

The 2006 runners-up Biarritz are notorious poor travellers in the competition so one would have to fancy a home win at a big 11/10. The French side though are the form team in this year's Top 14 and come into the match on the back of a win over French champions Perpignan and therefore are rated as 8/11 favourites.

The handicap gives the Scottish side a one-point start with both sides priced at 10/11 but I would sooner be on Glasgow in the match betting.

18:00 - Northampton v Munster

The final televised match looks to be the best of the lot as Northampton welcome Munster to their Franklin's Gardens fortress.

The Saints return to the Heineken Cup after a two year exile and will be keen to get off to a good start as they seek to win back-to-back European titles following their Challenge Cup win last season.

Both sides come into the match on the back of losses. The Red Army were trounced 30-0 by rivals Leinster and will be hoping to get back to winning ways at the first available opportunity.

However, unluckily for them I think Northampton will be too strong and should reward punters who back the 6/5 about a home win.

On the handicap Saints get a three-point start at odds of 10/11 for a bit of extra security.

Saturday promises to be yet another day of top class Heineken Cup action and you can follow it all with William Hill via our Live In-Play service.



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