Harlequins vs Castres
It’s the final round of the group stages of the Champions Cup with Harlequins hosting Castres at the Stoop. The home team are top of Group B and a bonus point win would secure top spot and a home tie in the knockout stage. Castres have lost their three matches and have three losing points. A win in this match could see them qualify for the next round which shows the flaws in this tournaments format. Harlequins have made six changes for this match with the omission from the starting XV of Marcus Smith the biggest change.
TIP: Harlequins scraped a win in the reverse fixture against Castres and the visitors will be keen to return the favour. Quins will want to play their high tempo game and move the big Castres pack around the field while the visitors will want to slow the game down as their strength lies in their forwards. The omission of Smith will severely affect the attacking capabilities of Harlequins and his replacement Tommaso Allan will have big shoes to fill. The bookies have Harlequins as favourites and I also tip them for the win. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 1.10, Playabets 1.09 and Sunbet 1.12
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Harlequins vs Castres
- Harlequins have won the previous three meeting between these sides.
- Harlequins won 25-9 the last time they played Castres at home.
Latest results for both teams
Harlequins beat Cardiff 36-33 in their last match while Castres lost their last match 16-13 to Munster.
The Castres team have been very difficult to beat at home and have lost by less than seven points in their two home games. Quins will look to get an early score and make the French team chase the game. The return of Andre Esterhuizen will certainly bolster the Quins team and will be partnered by Huw Jones in the midfield. If the Quins pack can get an advantage over the visitors then they can launch their dangerous backline. I predict a home win by more than 15 points.
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Nick David, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Scott Steele, 8 Alex Dombrandt (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Viliami Taulani, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Dino Lamb, 3 Simon Kerrod, 2 Jack Musk, 1 Joe Marler
15 Thomas Larregain, 14 Antoine Zeghdar, 13 Pierre Aguillon, 12 Adrea Cocagi, 11 Filipo Nakosi, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Rory Kockott, 8 Kevin Kornath, 7 Mateaki Kafatolu, 6 Nick Champion de Crespigny, 5 Jack Whetton, 4 Florent Vanverberghe, 3 Antoine Guillamon, 2 Gaetan Barlot (c), 1 Antoine Tichit
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Harlequins victory are as follows:
Odds comparison on the Harlequins handicap :
The complete odds on the Harlequins handicap:
Worldsportsbetting (-15.5) 1.90
Sunbet (-15.5) 1.87
Playabets (-16.5) 1.92
Predictions and Odds in details
Quins will want to the bonus point and secure top spot so we can expect to play their attacking brand of rugby and get the four tries early in the match. The match could be close until the second half when Smith comes of the bench and he will run rings around the tired Castres team. The man that Castres will look to is Rory Kockott to control the game with his kicking game. The bookies are offering poor returns on the Quins outright win therefore I suggest the home team on the handicap. The best odds on this bet are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (-15.5) 1.90, Sunbet (-15.5) 1.87 and Playabets (-16.5) 1.92
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