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Leicester vs Ulster Predictions & Tips - Ulster backed to reach European Challenge Cup final
- Leicester vs Ulster predictions for Friday’s European Challenge Cup semi-final match
- Fixture is being played at 20:00 BST at Mattioli Woods Welford Road
- Ulster have won 16 of their last 19 matches
- I am backing the Ulster to win by more than 5 points
- Preview, predictions, stats & team news
Ulster backed to beat Leicester to reach Challenge Cup final (Getty Images)
Leicester vs Ulster Predictions
Ulster have a very strong side and have won 16 of their last 19 matches. They come into this match slightly rusty but should still have too much quality for the Leicester Tigers. My best bet is for Ulster to cover the -5 handicap.
- Leicester have lost 3 of their last 4 matches (Rugby Premiership).
- Ulster have won 16 of their last 19 matches (all competitions).
- Ulster have covered the -5 handicap in their last 2 matches (Challenge Cup).
- Ulster have covered the -5 handicap in 2 of their last 3 matches against Leicester (Champions Cup).
Head to Head
Ulster lead Leicester 6-3 over their nine previous meetings. They last met in the 2019 Champions Cup where Ulster won 14-13 away from home.
The Leicester Tigers come into this European Challenge Cup semi-final in worrying form having lost their two most recent matches. Both those defeats came in the English Rugby Premiership over the last two weeks.
Bath beat the Tigers 21-20 which was followed by Northampton’s 23-18 win on Saturday passed.
Leicester have performed well in the 2020/21 European Challenge Cup despite the COVID-19 interruptions. In the round of 16 the Tigers beat Connacht 48-32 at home before winning 39-15 at home against fellow English side, Newcastle in the quarter-final.
On home soil Leicester are a formidable side if their forwards can get into the game. That will be a huge focus this week with Ulster coming to town.
Leicester Injuries & Team News
Leicester’s international half-back pairing of Ben Youngs and George Ford will be crucial to the outcome of this fixture. Much depends on whether the Tigers forwards can find parity with Ulster, if they do it will allow Youngs and Ford to dominate the match with the boot.
Ulster have enjoyed a good season in the Pro14 where they finished second behind Leinster in their group. They won their last two matches of the competition but it was not enough to pip Leinster to top spot and qualify for the final.
In the European Challenge Cup, Ulster have been in magnificent form. They thrashed Harlequins 57-21 away in the round of 16 and then beat Northampton Saints 35-27 away in the quarter-finals.
This past weekend saw the Pro14 Rainbow Cup get underway where Ulster lost 26-24 at home to Connacht. It was a rusty performance as can be expected having last played almost a month beforehand.
Ulster Injuries & Team News
Ulster are likely to start with a similar side to the one that played this past weekend. Jacob Stockdale will be a key attacking figure at fullback while Billy Burns and John Cooney will look to dominate as a half-back pairing.
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Ulster have had a very good season while Leicester have been inconsistent. I'm backing the Irish to have too much quality despite not playing much over the last month. Ulster to cover the -5 handicap is my bet.
Best Bet: Ulster -5 Handicap Handicap @-105.26 at BetMGM - 3 Units