The 2019-20 Heineken Champions Cup is the sixth season of the European Rugby Champions Cup. It is the yearly rugby union competition organized by the European Professional Club Rugby or the EPCR and is participated by teams representing the top six nations in rugby: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. The 2019-20 Heineken Champions Cup will start on November 2019 and the final will be played on May 23, 2020, at Stade de Marseille in Marseilles, France.

A total of 20 teams compete in the Champions Cup. Nineteen teams are seeded in the league by virtue of their league performance in the three major European domestic and regional leagues. The final spot is given to the Champions Cup winner if not qualified, Challenge Cup winner if not qualified, Challenge Cup losing finalist if not qualified or the Challenge Cup losing semi-finalist or the winner of the playoff between the two losing Challenge Cup semifinalists if both are not qualified.

England is allotted seven slots while France is given a total of six. The remaining seven slots are to be distributed among Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. The teams were seeded and correspondingly distributed in groups of four or five pools. The teams from the same pool play each other twice in a home and away format beginning November 15 through January 20, 2020. The five pool winners and the three best runners-up will advance to the quarterfinals.

The quarterfinalists are seeded with pool winners ranked 1-5 and the runners-up from 6-8 based on their performance in the group stage. They are then paired following the standard 1vs8, 2vs7, 3vs6 and 4vs5 format and will play in a knockout round. The four surviving teams are the semifinalists. Beginning 2018-19, the higher seeded team will have home venue advantage for each semi-final. The winners of the semifinals will proceed to play for the Heineken Cup in the final.

A draw to group the teams took place last June 19, 2019, in Switzerland and as a result, these are the groupings for the 2020 European Champions Cup:

Pool 1

  • Benetton
  • Leinster
  • Lyon
  • Northampton Saints

Pool 2

  • Exeter Chiefs
  • Glasgow Warriors
  • La Rochelle
  • Sale Sharks

Pool 3

  • Bath
  • Clermont
  • Harlequins
  • Ulster

Pool 4

  • Munster
  • Ospreys
  • Racing 92
  • Saracens

Pool 5

  • Connacht
  • Gloucester
  • Montpellier
  • Toulouse

Toulouse is the winningest club in tournament history with a total of four titles and two runners-up finish. Leinster also has four titles and one runner-up finish. Saracens have three titles, including the most recent one the last time out. Toulon also has three wins in the European Champions Cup.

Last season, Saracens defeated Leinster 20-10 in the final to win their third Heineken Champions Cup title in the last four years. Saracens are the current rugby betting favorites to lift the cup again in 2020. Leinster, which finished runner-up in 2019 and won the cup in 2018, is next in the odds board.

Here are the early odds from the 2020 Heineken Cup. These odds were taken from TitanBet as of 7/23/19:

Team Odds
Saracens +187
Leinster +225
ASM Clermont Auvergne +600
Toulouse +900
Exeter Chiefs +900
Racing 92 +1600
Munster +2000
La Rochelle +3300
Montpellier +3300
Gloucester Rugby +4000
Glasgow Warriors +4000
Northampton Saints +5000
Harlequins +5000
Ulster +6600
Sale Sharks +6600
Bath Rugby +8000
Lyon +10000
Connacht +15000
Benetton Treviso +25000
Ospreys +25000

Football Who Wins?

Saracens rallied from 0-10 down to beat Leinster and win the Heineken Champions Cup for the third time in four years. The win made them the first English club to win the European club three times. Saracens finished their European campaign unbeaten. After winning the Heineken Champions Cup in May, they proceeded to win the 2018-19 Premiership with a 37-34 victory over the Exeter Chiefs. The Premiership title was also their third in the last four years.

Given the hunger of this team, their legacy is expected to grow more. Most of the members of the team will be around for several more years. Saracens is an incredibly talented squad which has great coaches and infrastructure. This is a team which, if healthy, will dominate the rugby union scene in the next couple of years. Prediction: Saracens

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