Saturday 13th October
Sandy Park, Exeter @3:15pm TV: BT Sports
Munster get their Heineken Champions Cup campaign underway in Sandy Park, Exeter tomorrow. Not exactly the easiest of starts for Munster, especially considering that they have yet to taste victory on the road yet this season. Exeter have had no such problems and they sit joint top of the Gallagher Premiership after six wins from six.
Munster also have injury issues to contend with as first choice scrum-half Conor Murray has yet to feature this season due to injury and Alby Mathewson, who was signed to provide short-term cover for Murray, rolled his ankle in last Saturday’s defeat to Leinster. The much-maligned Duncan Williams is set to start tomorrow. Johann Van Grann has rewarded Dan Goggins for his impressive early season form and he will start alongside Rory Scannell in the centre, while Sammy Arnold will provide cover from the bench. Mike Haley returns at full-back in a move that sees Andrew Conway move to the left wing. The only change from last week in the forward’s pack sees Chris Cloete come in for Tommy O’Donnell.
Munster teams of old were renowned for returning from difficult away assignments with at least a losing bonus point and if they achieve a similar result tomorrow it will be a good outcome against such a formidable opponent. Exeter have scored an average of 35 points and conceded only 18 per match. It will be crucial for Munster to win the back row battle and slow down to the speed of ball going out to the dangerous Exeter back line.

Exeter team: 
15 Phil Dollman
14 Jack Nowell
13 Henry Slade
12 Ian Whitten
11 Santiago Cordero
10 Gareth Steenson (capt)
9 Stuart Townsend
1 Ben Moon
2 Luke Cowan-Dickie
3 Harry Williams
4 Dave Dennis
5 Sam Skinner
6 Dave Ewers
7 Don Armand
8 Matt Kvesic
16 Jack Yeandle
17 Alec Hepburn
18 Tomas Francis
19 Ollie Atkins
20 Tom Lawday
21 Jack Maunder
22 Joe Simmonds
23 Sam Hill
Betting Odds
Exeter’s home for ensures a short price of 4/11 for the home side, Munster are available at 3/1 to cause an upset and the draw is available at 28/1. The handicap spread puts Munster at +8, just outside losing bonus point range. I see this as a good bet as I fancy Munster to stay within 7.