Sky Bet's Jordan Fiddes picks out his tips for this weekend's Heineken Cup Semi-Finals
By Jordan Fiddes - Twitter: @SkyJordanFiddes
Last Updated: 02/05/13 1:50pm
There are only four teams left in this year's elite European competition and both semi-finals are expected to be closely fought contests by Sky Bet.
In the first semi, Munster travel to France to face current tournament favourites, Clermont.
ASM Clermont Auvergne are currently 4/6 to lift the European trophy and it's easy to see why.
They are the only semi-finalists who can boast a 100 per cent record still intact, winning seven out of seven Heineken Cup games this season.
Against Munster, they have been given a -12 handicap which, in my opinion, is pretty big for a semi-final.
They may be the form side coming into the game, but Clermont will have to play out of their skin if they are to beat the experienced Munster outfit.
The Irishmen will be appearing in a record-equalling 10th Heineken Cup semi-final and hoping to qualify for their fifth final.
In 50 games against French opposition, Munster have won on 34 occasions, making nearly a 70 per cent win ratio.
Not once in this year's competition have they lost by 12 points or more, the closest they have come is losing 19-13 against Saracens in December.
In fact, the last time they lost by over 12 in the Heineken Cup was in January 2011 when they lost 32-16 away to Toulon, who, incidentally, face Saracens in the second semi-final on Sunday.
A game of two halves
Unlike Munster, both Saracens and Toulon will be aiming to reach their first ever Heineken Cup Final.
It will be the first time the two have met in the European competition and the smart money will be on the French outfit coming into this one.
Saracens welcome Toulon over the channel on the back of a loss to Gloucester in the Premiership but they could be excused for having one eye on this fixture.
This week, however, they face a French team who have an excellent record against British opposition.
Prior to this semi-final, Toulon had already swept aside Leicester, Sale and Cardiff to make it a clean sweep of wins against English and Welsh teams.
Therefore, they are 19/20 favourites to take the spoils against another British side in Saracens.
There is better value, however, in the 'Double Result' with Toulon 13/8 to be in the lead after 40 minutes and going on to win the game.
In four out of their six Heineken Cup games so far this year, the men from France have been winning at half time and even managed to win both halves.
They had the third best attack in the group stages and have two players who have created four tries each which no other club have managed in this year's competition.
One of those players is none other than fly-half Jonny Wilkinson who has also weighed in with a massive 73 points this year and, away from home, has kicked more goals than any other play in the Heineken Cup.
Being the travelling side, Toulon will be playing it safe at every opportunity as they did against Sale and Cardiff in their last two games on the road, so expect Wilkinson to kick plenty of penalties to keep the scoreboard ticking and leading them through to the final.
View from the Sky Bet trading room...
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