One side who are primed for a run and Europe’s premier competition are the Northampton Saints. Jim Mallinders men narrowly beat Saracens in last seasons Aviva Premiership Final, and now they have reached the top of the domestic game they can finally reach the top of the club game and win the ECC. Their powerful and dynamic pack are a match for anyone in the competition and with the likes of George North and Ben Foden in the back-line they wont have trouble finding the line.
The group doesn’t look the most straightforward with French giants Racing Metro and the unbeaten Ospreys to contend with, but at Franklins Gardens it is hard to see any of these sides being able to cope with the physicality and power of the Saints. The struggles are likely to come on the road with a tough game away at Racing first up, but if they can get something from that they will take a lot of confidence into the rest of the tournament.
Other names like Leinster (8/1), Clermont (9/1) and Saracens (9/1) will all be there or there abouts, but all these sides have question marks hanging over them. Clermont can never seem to win the big games, Saracens were physically battered in last years final and Leinster have the unenviable task of replacing Brian O’Driscoll.
That is why I am keen on Northampton’s chances, as a team they are now really coming into their prime and I think 7/1 is a fantastic price for such a talented team.
In the top tryscorer market Toulon winger Drew Mitchell looks way overpriced at 40/1. The former Wallaby is one of the most intelligent wingers in the game and has scored some big tries in big games for the French champions and with the service he is likely to get it is a hard price to ignore.
Northampton to win the ECC 7/1 (Betfair) 2pt win
Drew Mitchell top tryscorer 40/1 (Ladbrokes) 1pt e/w