Here’s a quickie look at the upcoming opening weekend for the Pro12. I put together a very basic pre-season rank of teams based on last season’s Expected Points model (didn’t have time to do Elo).
Note that the empty column will get filled with Elo this season as the games are played. So, with that said, let’s look at the upcoming matches, which by my estimates might not be too exciting.
- Glasgow (#4) vs. Leinster (#1). The only real high-end match-up for the first weekend. Leinster will have to be at their best to win on the road against a strong Glasgow side that has ambitions of knocking them off their perch.
Worth a look:
- Munster (#2) vs. Edinburgh (#9). Relatively easy match-up at home a nice way to start for a title contender.
- Ospreys (#3) vs. Benetton Treviso (#12). Another easy match-up for a playoff hopeful.
- Scarlets (#6) vs. Ulster (#5). The rankings here make it look like it should be a close match, but really Ulster should be much better, even on the road than Scarlets.
Only for the hard-core:
- Connacht (#10) vs. Dragons (#7). I have a feeling that almost every Connacht match this season might end up categorised as “only for the hard-core”.
- Zebre (#11) vs. Cardiff Blues (#8). Ditto for Zebre.