Ospreys to tame Tigers

  • By: Reece Killworth
  • Last Updated: January 12 2013, 7:17 GMT

It's crunch time for the Ospreys as they play twice former champions Leicester Tigers in what looks the pick of the Heineken Cup action this weekend.

We fancy things to go well for the Ospreys
We fancy things to go well for the Ospreys

But they carry great momentum into Sunday afternoon's game having stunned the four-times winners Toulouse last time out.

Eli Walker was the star of the show as the Welsh side triumphed 17-6 at the Liberty Stadium and that's given them a real chance of progressing.

They can certainly be expected to beat Treviso in the final round of fixtures and with the top two - Leicester and Toulouse - doing battle at the same time at Welford Road, a win for the Ospreys will crank up the pressure.

So a huge amount depends on Sunday's game at the Liberty.

And those last three words will be a source of huge confidence for them.

Of their last 20 pool games in front of their own fans, the Ospreys have won an impressive 18, with one defeat and a draw also on their ledger.

And the calibre of some of the teams among those beaten shows they're not just flat-track bullies rumbling over the weaker Italian sides.

Yes, the likes of Calvisano, Viadana and Treviso are among that run, but Ospreys have beaten the likes of Biarritz, Toulon, Munster and Clermont Auvergne - and that's before that Toulouse result last time out.

Perhaps more pertinently, they've also beaten Leicester twice.

Over a shorter stretch they've backed up their defeat of Toulouse with three successive domestic victories to clamber back into Pro12 play-off contention.

Leicester, for their part, bring a run of six wins on the spin into this one - but when they have had problems this season, they have been on the road.

Gloucester, Wasps and Toulouse have sent them packing with away defeats, while they only edged past Treviso by a solitary point.

I'm not saying Ospreys will blast them off the park - far from it - but I just think home advantage will be a massive factor between two well-matched sides.

The two matches between the sides referenced above in Ospreys' impressive home run ended 17-12 and 15-9 and I can't see the victory margin here being much bigger - if at all - than the six points in the second of those.

You can get the hosts -1 at the usual 10/11 in the handicap markets but the Ospreys to win by 1-10 points at 2/1 is the call for me.


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