THE Heineken Champions Cup kicks off this weekend with two-time winners Munster beginning their campaign on Saturday away to the Ospreys.
Munster Rugby find themselves in Pool 4, alongside holders Saracens, French Top 14 giants Racing 92 and Guinness Pro14 rivals Ospreys.
Following Saturday’s opening fixture with the Welsh region, Munster host Racing 92 at Thomond Park a week on Saturday, before locking horns with Sarries’ for back-to-back fixtures next month.
Last season’s beaten finalists Leinster have been installed as the 15/8 favourites to claim the Champions Cup in Marseille next May. Sarries, with all their off-field issues at present are next best in the betting at 3/1.
Munster, beaten semi-finalists for the past three seasons, are available at 20/1.
The early season signs have been encouraging for Munster with an improvement in their attack play under new senior coach Stephen Larkham.
Winning the Cup for a third time seems unlikely, but Munster look a good bet to top Pool 4 at 9/4 behind odds-on favourites Saracens available at 8/11.
A winning start against the Ospreys is crucial if Munster are to top Pool 4, however.