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Nic Ladds 4th Dec 2008 - 18:24

Ulster v Llanelli Scarlets - Heineken Cup preview

Ulster take on the Llanelli Scarlets with both teams desperate for a win. Ulster currently sit rock bottom of Pool Four with zero points while the Scarlets have fared little better and sit in third with one point.

The Scarlets welcome back key men Stephen Jones, Matthew Rees, Mark Jones and Martin Roberts from international duty which will be a huge boost to the side. Welsh full back Morgan Stoddart is also included in the squad giving the Scarlets a much more solid look.

Mark Jones and Stoddart are notable try threats and are available at 10/1 and 16/1 respectively to get Scarlets off to a flyer and score the first try.

Ulster are missing five-try top scorer Timoci Nagusa which leaves them lacking some firepower on the wing. However Scotland international Simon Danielli is ready to step in on his return from injury which should cushion some of the blow of losing the Fijian powerhouse with the Scotsman available at 10/1 to score the first try.

Ulster will be on a high after trouncing Connacht 53-13 in the Magners League and have been installed as 8/13 favourites in the match betting with Scarlets set at 5/4 outsiders.

Both Ulster and Llanelli have been easily dealt with by Harlequins and Stade Francais in their first two matches and both teams need a big win here to keep any hopes they have of qualifying from the pool alive.

The handicap betting sees the Scarlets receive a three points start and both teams are available at 10/11. The handicap looks about right as it promises to be an extremely tight affair which could go either way.

When the teams met in the Magners League the Scarlets came out 16-9 victors in a tight match and we can expect the same in this Heineken Cup match.

Despite being the handicap underdogs Scarlets may well have the upper hand with a host of international stars returning and an earlier victory over Ulster this season and Scarlets to win the match looks like the bet.

Recommendation:
Scarlets 80 minute match betting - 5/4

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