European Champions Cup: Leicester set for another defeat against Racing 92

Leicester centre Manu Tuilagi
Manu Tuilagi scored a try in Leicester's defeat to Racing 92 last week

Simon Mail previews the fourth round of matches in the Champions Cup which includes Leicester v Racing 92 and Leinster v Bath...

"It has been a dismal run for Leicester with seven successive defeats in all competitions and it will take a big turnaround to topple their opponents. Racing 92 won both games against the Tigers last season including a 23-20 victory at Welford Road."

Gloucester v Exeter
Friday, 19:45
Live on BT Sport 2

Hosts can topple Chiefs again

Gloucester have given themselves a realistic chance of reaching the Champions Cup quarter-finals after their 27-19 win at Exeter last weekend. It leaves Gloucester three points behind Munster with a home game still to come against the pool leaders next month. The Premiership side have it all to play for which is more than can be said for the Chiefs.

Exeter came into their European campaign with high hopes but Rob Baxter's side have disappointed again with no wins and two defeats from their first three matches. Harlequins are the only side to win at Kingsholm this season and with so much at stake, Gloucester are backed to complete the double over Exeter. Both of their wins in the competition have been by under ten points and another narrow victory is likely.

Saracens to extend winning run

Cardiff v Saracens
Saturday, 13:00
Live on Channel 4 and BT Sport 3

Saracens have been unstoppable this season with the Premiership champions winning every game in all competitions. Mark McCall's side have not always been at their best but, as they showed last week, recovered from trailing Cardiff at half-time to win 51-25. It leaves them four points clear at the top of their pool.

Cardiff appear to be playing for pride with a ten-point gap too much to recover from in the remaining three matches. The Blues gave a good account of themselves at Allianz Park and will make it tricky for their opponents but Saracens should find a way to win. All five of their away wins have been by no more than 12 points and another tight victory looks the value bet.

Toulouse to punish Wasps

Toulouse v Wasps
Saturday, 15:15
Live on BT Sport 2

Toulouse have shown signs of returning to their former glories this year with the four-time European champions winning their first three matches in the competition. Their home win over holders Leinster was an eye-catching result and a 24-16 victory at Wasps last weekend consolidated top spot in the group. It was their eighth successive win in all competitions.

Wasps' hopes of progress in the tournament are over after failing to win any of their games and it will be a tough afternoon for them in France. Toulouse have won their last two Top 14 home matches by at least 29 points while Wasps' last three away matches have been defeats by at least 19 points. A rampant Toulouse look worth backing to cover a 19-point handicap at the Stade Ernest Wallon.

Champions to ease past Bath

Leinster v Bath
Saturday, 17:30
Live on BT Sport 2

Defending champions Leinster have not had it all their own way this season with Leo Cullen's side beaten 28-27 by Toulouse in October. Leinster defeated Bath 17-10 last weekend to keep the pressure on their French rivals at the top of the pool. The result leaves Bath without a victory in the competition and heading for an early exit.

The hosts are overwhelming favourites for this match and the handicap is set at 24 points. This may sound a huge amount but Leinster have been ruthless recently with three of their last five wins coming by at least 28 points. Leinster scored 52 points against both the Ospreys and Wasps - their last two opponents at home - so another big victory could be on the cards this weekend.

Tigers face another Racing defeat

Leicester v Racing 92
Sunday, 13:00
Live on BT Sport 2

Leicester's hopes of reaching the last-eight of the Champions Cup look very slim after their 36-26 defeat in Racing 92 last weekend. The Tigers managed to come away with a bonus point, after scoring four tries, but the French team are in complete control of the pool after winning their first three games. After reaching the final last season, Racing 92 are focused on going one step further.

It has been a dismal run for Leicester with seven successive defeats in all competitions and it will take a big turnaround to topple their opponents. Racing 92 won both games against the Tigers last season including a 23-20 victory at Welford Road. The betting suggests it will be close but the visitors' superior quality and confidence should tell and a win by up to 12 points is worth backing.

Tight clash expected at Kingston Park

Newcastle v Edinburgh
Sunday, 15:15
Live on BT Sport 2

It is all to play for in pool five with Edinburgh leading the way by three points from Newcastle. The Falcons have struggled domestically but started their European campaign with a brilliant win in Toulon and a victory over Montpellier. Edinburgh climbed into top spot after a 31-13 home win over Newcastle last weekend.

Newcastle need to beat their Scottish opponents and will be optimistic of securing the result against a team with a terrible away record. Edinburgh have lost all seven matches on the road this season although four of these have been by a single-figure margin. Newcastle are unbeaten at home since the end of September and can grind out a tight victory at Kingston Park.

Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster

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