Leinster vs Toulouse Prediction: Dupont to come out on top

 | Saturday 25th May 2024, 7:53am

Saturday 25th May 2024, 7:53am

Alex Cox Rugby Union

An enthralling contest awaits which will certainly go down to the wire, but look for the French side to find some magic when the game is on the line.

The Champions Cup Final is Europe’s pinnacle fixture each year and few can argue that we don’t have the best sides in Europe representing. In fact, Toulouse and Leinster are the two most decorated sides in the competition's history, with nine European Cup trophies between. To add to the spectacle, the neutral ground selected for the Final is Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London – a state of the art facility that will host over 60,000 fans. Everything is set up for a thriller.

Leinster vs Toulouse Betting Tips

  • Toulouse to win by 1-12 points inclusive @ 21/10

Leinster have had a fairly smooth ride to the Final, despite Northampton’s attempts at Croke Park in the Semi-Final. They have also been able to rest nearly their entire starting side over the last few weeks to ensure they are fresh, and only time will tell if that approach will work or back-fire.

Leinster have reached the Final the last two seasons, losing both games to La Rochelle. With that recent record there is certainly an element of doubt as to whether they are able to find those clutch moments to convert opportunities in knockout rugby. We have yet to see how Byrne responds when the stakes are high, so there will be some extra scrutiny around his performance this weekend.

Toulouse were also pushed in their Semi-Final - this time against Harlequins - but found an extra gear in the latter stages to pull clear. This is Toulouse’s first European Final since 2021, when they defeated La Rochelle to earn their 5th Title, meaning they head to London this weekend searching for a 6th star to add to their shirts next season.

The French side have developed an all-court game, allowing them to employ varying strategies and keep the opposition guessing. They have the power and short-passing game to cause chaos in narrow channels around the ruck but equally have the attacking skills and speed to capitalise on space in the wide areas.

Dupont plays a key part in both those game plans and Leinster will attempt to limit the influence the world's best player can make in this Final, however I’m not so sure they’ll be successful with those attempts..

Toulouse to win by 1-12 points inclusive @ 21/10

Team News:

Leinster

Cullen and Nienaber have a fresh Leinster squad to pick from and have gone with a 6-2 bench in a bid to combat the French power. Porter, Sheehan and Furlong will be in the front-row, with Jenkins and McCarthy together in the second-row. Connors has been given the nod to Start in the back-row, meaning Van der Flier will come off the bench this week. Alongside Connors will be Baird and Doris – making the back-row battle a fascinating contest.

In the back-line, thankfully Keenan is fit to start after getting some crucial minutes vs Ulster last weekend, however Ringrose hasn’t managed to get back to fitness in time to feature. Gibson-Park will continue his half-back partnership with Byrne and it will be Osborne and Henshaw in midfield in Ringrose’s absence. Lowe and Larmour are on the wings and Keenan takes his place at full-back.

Toulouse
Ugo Mola will have had a straightforward selection decision this week – with the only contentious one being who starts at full-back, otherwise the side picks itself. Baille, Mauvaka and Aldegheri will be the front-row trio, with Flament and Meafou in the second-row behind them. Finally the back-row will be Cros and Roumat plus Englishman Willis.

Dupont and Ntamack will be influencing the game from the half-backs. Akhi will be in the midfield with the ever-improving Costes outside him and the wingers will be Lebel and Argentinian Mallia. Mola has gone with Scottish International Kinghorn over Ramos at full-back – meaning the Frenchman will be on the bench but will certainly play an important role with the tee in the latter stages of the game.

Bet reasoning
With so much at stake, it’s no surprise that the last nine Champions Cup Finals have been close with no side winning by more than 12 points. These teams are finely matched and I can’t see anyone winning by more than 7 points, but I do feel that there is some value on Toulouse.

Their ability to find a route to victory can’t be underestimated in a game like this and I believe the weapons they have across the park outweigh those from the Dublin-based side. It should be a cracker of a final – and think Toulouse will edge it when we get to the final whistle.

Toulouse to win by 1-12 points inclusive @ 21/10

Rugby Union Betting Tips from Betfred Insights.

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