Excitement Builds Ahead of Europeans Champions Cup Semi-Finals

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NEW YORK, NY – At long last, after that COVID-19 curve ball buckled all schedule-makers’ knees, the European Champions Cup has reached the semi-final stage this weekend, and Betonline has the latest odds for the #ChampionsCup. Favorites to land the trophy are Exeter Chiefs who are 9/4 (2.25) +225 and looking to complete the double this season by winning the Gallagher Premiership as well as the ECC.

Chris Bentley Playing Rugby For The Exeter Chiefs. (WikiMedia Commons)

Domestically, Toulouse have been a little shaky with recent defeats to Clermont Auvergne and Bayonne, though they do value this competition as one they want to win and hugely dominant performance in the group stage where they won all six matches, they followed this up by a very comfortable win over Ulster winning 36 points to 8.

Betonline has the odds for the semi-finals and it’s very close to call. The Chiefs are the slight favorites at 4/5 (1.8) -180 to move into the final, though you can’t count out Toulouse, who will be relishing a crack at Exeter. The French side are 8/5 (1.6) + 160 to maintain their 100% record in this seasons competition and look to make it a win in the final.

Defenses are likely to be on top and a strategic kicking game could be what transpires and it may well come down to the kickers who decide the fate of both teams. Weather shouldn’t play an issue so we can expect a free-flowing game of Rugby.

In terms of who comes out on top, it may be wise to stick with the team who have the 100% record in the competition to make it through to the final.

Racing 92 v Saracens

The other semi-final features Racing 92 against Saracens. The French squad won their pool group winning four of their six matches. It was actually Saracens who finished runners-up in the group, whom they meet this weekend. Racing 92 won a very high-scoring quarter final as they defeated Clermont 36 v 27. This game was entertaining and showed what a good team Racing are at attacking, but they did have defensive lapses as they couldn’t stop Clermont scoring over 25 points.

Racing 92, though, are on a four-game unbeaten run and they are playing with great confidence. As well as defeating Clermont in the quarter-finals, domestically they put 41 points passed Montpellier and 49 points passed La Rochelle.

The surprise package in the semi-finals are Saracens. The English outfit, who are sitting bottom of the League due to a huge points loss as per skirting the salary cap, defeated Leinster 25-17 in a tight game. They did come into this game with a huge win over Exeter, which was also something of a shock, having lost their two previous matches to Sale Sharks and Wasps.

This semi-final is sure to be entertaining as Racing 92 will be ready to attack from the off looking to score plenty of points. From their impressive recent form, they are favourites to win at 8/11 (1.72) -172 and expectation is that they will outscore Saracens.

For Saracens to reach the final they are going to have to be hugely impressive in defense and convert the chances they get on offense. It is possible, but it will take a big performance. Betonline odds on Saracens to make the final are 11/8 (2.38) + 238.

The semi-finals are France v England and it will be interesting to see whether it’s an all French or all English final or whether a French side will face an English side in the final.

Frogs or Roastbif? All will be revealed this weekend.

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About Matt McCarthy 754 Articles
Matt McCarthy comes to RugbyWrapUp.com from their partner in the USA, MeetTheMatts.com. RWU and MTM feature a stable of diverse contributors, with coverage that is both serious and with a wink. Find him on twitter: @Matt_McCarthy00