With Scotland fly-half Finn Russell hitting the ground running at new club Bath, the West Country outfit will be full of confidence when they welcome Ulster to The Recreation Ground in the European Champions Cup on Saturday.
Bath secured a major coup by landing the British & Irish Lions stand-off after his spell at Racing 92 and their investment in the Scottish playmaker looks to be paying off.
Sat in second place in the Premiership table going into the weekend, Bath will be looking to build on their strong domestic form when they play host to an Ulster side who have lost their last two United Rugby Championship games heading into this encounter across the Irish Sea.
Saturday will be a big day for Bath’s Charlie Ewels as the lock is set to make his 150th appearance for the club.
It’s also a landmark game for Cameron Redpath as he will make his 50th Bath appearance when lining up outside Scotland team-mate Russell at inside centre.
England’s Ollie Lawrence returning to outside centre is the one change for boss Johann van Graan after Bath’s impressive 41-24 home win over Exeter Chiefs last time out.
As for Ulster, the visitors will be boosted by the return of skipper Ian Henderson, with the Ireland lock back from injury to start on Saturday.
World Cup-winning South Africa prop Steven Kitshoff is set to make his European debut for Ulster, in a front-row that also includes hooker Tom Stewart and tighthead prop Tom O’Toole.
Bath are the favourites to claim the victory in this European Champions Cup clash at 1/3, while Ulster are available at 12/5 to secure the win.
A tie on Saturday afternoon at The Rec is 20/1.
Bath (-10.5) @ 7/5
There’s little surprise to see just the one change for Bath from their eye-catching victory over Exeter last time out.
From a side struggling for confidence and results last season, Bath now look like they should be in the mix for the Premiership title come the end of the campaign.
The influence Russell has had since his arrival can’t be underestimated and his game management appears to be getting better every week.
Ulster head into the game following two disappointing results against some of Russell’s Scotland team-mates.
Glasgow Warriors earned a 33-20 win at Scotstoun late last month, before Edinburgh won on the road at Ulster 27-24.
Ulster will look to be in the fight at the breakdown and make life difficult for Bath.
However, with Russell in great form and Redpath and Lawrence able to also create breaks in the backline, the hosts should be able to come out on top.
There’s value to be had in the handicap market and Bath giving up a start of 10.5 is worth thinking about at odds of 7/5 .
Check out our Rugby Union Betting Tips here.