Leicester vs Ulster

This semifinal looks to have all the ingredients of a European cliffhanger with the English team facing the Irish team. Ulster had been very good in the Pro14 and finished third on the overall log and narrowly lost out on a finals spot. Leicester has great European history having won the Champions Cup in their glory years but sadly they have gone through many barren years. The good news for Tigers fans is that this season has seen a resurgence in the Leicester team. They have recruited very wisely and players like Jasper Wiese have been outstanding and the return from injury of Nemani Nadolo has certainly boosted Leicester. Ulster starts as favourites but last week against Connacht they looked poor and missed their overseas pro Marcell Coetzee who has returned to South Africa. Leicester has shown all season that their strength lays in their forwards with English internationals Dan Cole and Ellis Genge packing down in the front row. The development of the backline under the leadership of George Ford has been exceptional and will provide lots of questions to the Ulster defence. Ulster rely heavily on forward dominance but will not gain that advantage over this very strong Leicester pack and will need to find another way to dominate the game. The wing battle between Nadolo and Jacob Stockdale will be magnificent as both these players are world class attackers but not great defenders. Leicester will need to fix their discipline as they are constantly losing players to yellow and red cards. Both these teams will be going flat out to secure a European finals spot, something that they haven’t achieved in many years.

TIP: The influence of Nadolo on the Leicester team can’t be ignored and last week after coming on as a substitute he scored two tries. Ulster will need to closely watch him as he not only score tries but is brilliant in setting up tries for his teammates. Ulster showed last week that they miss their powerhouse Coetzee as they lacked someone to drive them forward. In their glory years, Leicester had the best pack in Europe and they are slowly regaining that forward dominance. Their England halfback pairing of Ben Youngs and George Ford will want to impress as this is their last chance to book a place in the British Lions team. I am going for an upset Leicester victory and there are great odds on the Leicester victory at Playabets 2.75, Worldsportsbetting 2.75 and Sunbet 2.48.

HEAD TO HEAD STATS

Leicester vs Ulster

  • In the last five matches there has been only one Leicester victory.
  • There have been eight matches between the sides and Leicester has only won two.
  • Leicester lost their last home game to Ulster 13-14

Latest results for both teams

Leicester lost their last game against Northampton Saints 18-23 while Ulster lost their game against Connacht 24-26.

PREDICTION

The international experience in the Leicester team will no doubt help them in this match while Ulster also has Irish stars Ian Henderson and Jacob Stockdale in their ranks. The biggest obstacle to a Leicester victory is their own discipline, which has cost them wins in their last two games. I know there is no crowds at the matches but playing at Welford road will inspire the Leicester team to victory. The playmaking ability of George Ford will unleash their dangerous backline and this is the reason I am going for a Leicester upset victory by less than 5 points

  • Probable Starting XVs

Leicester

15 Freddie Steward, 14 Kobus Van Wyk, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11, Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Hanro Liebenberg, 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge

Ulster

15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Robert Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stewart Moore, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney, 8 Nick Timoney, 7 Sean Reidy, 6 Matty Rea, 5 Iain Henderson (c), 4 Kieran Treadwell, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andrew Warwick

Odds for this bet

There are the best odds on the Leicester upset victory:

Worldsportsbetting 2.75

Playabets 2.75

Sunbet 2.48

Odds comparison on the Leicester handicap

The complete odds on the Leicester handicap are as follows:

Worldsportsbetting (+4.5) 1.90

Sunbet (+3.5) 1.95

Playabets (+4.5) 1.83

Predictions and Odds in details

The clashes between these sides have often been decided by a single score and we will expect the same in this match. The teams seem to be evenly matched but the home ground advantage gives the Tigers the edge. The driving maul is a big weapon for both these teams but the Leicester pack must have the edge in this department. The Leicester blueprint for victory will be to get scrum penalties and gain territory that gives them a chance to use their rolling maul. The player that I tip to have the game changing moment is Nemani Nadolo who is simply unstoppable close to the line. The Tigers also have the stronger bench and this is why I am going for the home victory. The safe bet is Leicester on the following handicaps: Worldsportsbetting (+4.5) 1.90 Sunbet (+3.5) 1.95 and Playabets (+4.5) 1.83

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