European Rugby Champions Cup odds
Who wins the European Rugby Champions Cup 2019/2020?
2019/20 European Champions Cup
The European Champions Cup is the biggest prize in European club rugby. Contested every season, the top clubs around Europe battle it out to be crowned the best team on the continent.
The tournament begins with the pool stage and there are five pools, each featuring 4 teams. The teams come from England, France, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy with the performance in the previous seasons domestic league being used as one way to select the clubs.
Eight teams qualify from the pool stages and participate in the knockout rounds of the competition. There are no second chances and the team which wins the match progresses to the semi-final, with the winners of that reaching the final.
At the time of writing, we know 17 of the 20 teams which will play in the pool stage of the 2019/20 European Champions Cup, including the defending champions, Saracens.
The English club won their third European Champions Cup in four seasons and it is not a surprise to see them as one of the favourites to lift the trophy again in 2019/20. They need one victory to match the four wins of Toulouse and Leinster and it will take a brave person to back against Saracens achieving that aim.
The runners-up in 2018/19 were Leinster and they have reached each of the last two finals. They won the competition in 2017/18 but were unable to stage a successful defence of their title last time out. Leinster finished top of Conference B in the Pro14 and reached the final. They enjoyed a good semi-final victory over Munster and remain the leading force in Irish club rugby.
It would not be a surprise to see a repeat of last seasons final should both Saracens and Leinster avoid each other in the earlier rounds.
Exeter Chiefs topped the 2018/19 Gallagher Premiership and that has booked them a place in the pool stages of the 2019/20 European Champions Cup. They have been a strong team in English rugby in recent years, winning the Premiership in 2016/17 and coming runners-up in 2015/16 and 2017/18.
Despite finishing second in their group last season, they did not progress to the knockout stages and will want to improve this time around. It was the second time in succession that has happened to Exeter Chiefs and only once since 2015/16 have they manged to get out of the pool stage.
Surely, they will improve in the 2019/20 European Champions Cup and Exeter Chiefs will be aiming to at least reach the knockout stages. From there, anything can happen.
Expect to see a selection of Irish and French clubs in the quarter-final but Welsh teams have struggled in recent years. In fact, you must go back to 1995/96 to find the last time a team from Wales was in the final.
We are more likely to see two teams from England, Ireland or France contesting the showpiece occasion in the 2019/20 European Champions Cup.