Saracens v Lyon | Key Permutations
It's one of those European weekends when fans will need their calculators out to work out who will be advancing to the knockout stages!
The Men in Black know they'll need a win to stand a chance of progressing, so we thought we'd spell out exactly what could happen across the weekend.
Sarries will need to better Bristol's result, as both sides are currently on the same points. Bristol travel to Connacht on Friday night, meaning Mark McCall's men will know what they need. The Irish province need a big win over Bristol Bears and a Saracens defeat to Lyon to have any chance of continuing.
Both Union Bordeaux-Bègles and Lyon are already through to the Round of 16, with the former needing a point from their trip to Vodacom Bulls on Saturday to clinch a home tie. Lyon could still snaffle top spot in the pool if they win at Saracens on the same day and Union Bordeaux-Bègles leave Loftus Versfeld pointless. Either way, a Lyon win guarantees them a home Round of 16 tie.
Vodacom Bulls will qualify with a point of any kind but need a win for any chance of a home tie, coupled with a Lyon defeat or draw.
Qualification criteria and format
The four highest-ranked clubs in each pool will qualify for the Round of 16. All clubs will be ranked in descending order based firstly on their ranking in their pool and subsequently on the number of match points they have accumulated, to create an overall ranking from 1 to 16.
If two or more clubs in the same pool are equal on match points, their ranking will be determined as follows:
(i) the best aggregate points difference from the pool stage; or
(ii) if equal, the number of tries scored in the pool stage; or
(iii) if equal, the club with the fewest number of players suspended for disciplinary incidents in the pool stage; or
(iv) if still equal, by drawing lots.
The pool winners will be ranked 1 to 4, the second-placed clubs will be ranked 5 to 8, the third-placed clubs will be ranked 9 to 12, and the fourth-placed clubs will be ranked 13 to 16.
Round of 16 - 5/6/7 April
R16 1: Number 1-ranked club v Number 16-ranked club
R16 2: Number 2-ranked club v Number 15-ranked club
R16 3: Number 3-ranked club v Number 14-ranked club
R16 4: Number 4-ranked club v Number 13-ranked club
R16 5: Number 5-ranked club v Number 12-ranked club
R16 6: Number 6-ranked club v Number 11-ranked club
R16 7: Number 7-ranked club v Number 10-ranked club
R16 8: Number 8-ranked club v Number 9-ranked club
NB The clubs ranked numbers 1 to 8 will have home venue advantage
The clubs ranked fifth in each of the pools will qualify for the Round of 16 of the EPCR Challenge Cup.
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