Former Munster captain Paul O’Connell believes his old side have the toughest task of all the Irish provinces as they take on Toulon in the Champions Cup this afternoon (3.15pm) .
Munster welcome the French giants to Thomond Park while Leinster host Saracens at the Aviva Stadium in the same competition and Connacht welcome Gloucester to the Sportsground in their Challenge Cup clash.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, O’Connell claimed that while having home advantage will be important for Munster, he remains wary of the quality that Toulon have all over the pitch and the number of players that Munster will be without due to injury.
"It certainly helps playing at home from a Munster point of view," he said.
"I would have played in a quarter-final that we would have lost at home against Ulster so it’s never a done deal.
"I do think it helps the players to perform, the pressure of the home record we have helps them to perform, but they [Munster] have enough injuries which is going to be quite difficult from them.
"Chris Farrell when he played for Ireland the last time was man-of-the-match and Keith Earls was a lot of people’s pick for player of the tournament, he’s such a clever player.
"Those two guys alone are a big loss so I think it’s going to be very tough for them.
"The only thing I suppose is Toulon winning 49-0 against Clermont last week, might not be the end of the world for Munster that that happened, even though it shows how good they’re capable of being.
"You’d like to think maybe Toulon would come over a little big complacent and a little bit confident but it’s going to be a very, very difficult game for Munster so it’s going to be very tough."
O’Connell was more upbeat when assessing Leinster’s chances when they host Saracens at the Aviva Stadium.
The former Ireland skipper sees parallels between the way both clubs and their national teams and believes that there could be shades of Ireland v England when they meet on Sunday.
"I suppose it’s almost an Ireland versus England game. I fancy Leinster, there’s so many internationals in the side," he said.
"They would have all had a week off last week, I see from social media they were all in various parts of the world so I’d say they’ll all come back refreshed and really looking forward to playing a home game.
"Saracens are a very good side, they’re a little bit like Ireland, they don’t beat themselves. So Leinster are going to have to be good to beat them, but I just think the quality in the Leinster squad will be too strong for them."
Connacht meanwhile face a testing clash against Gloucester at the Sportsground, but it’s one that O’Connell believes they can emerge triumphant from.
"It’s not an easy game and Gloucester have been playing really well. They have a new coach, Johan Ackermann from South Africa who coached the Lions down there.
"They’re very successful under him and he seems to have turned things around.
"They’re a very strong side but I still fancy Connacht at home, I think Connacht in the Sportsground are a match for any team these days so I fancy their chances."
Follow our live blog of Munster v Toulon (3.15pm kick-off) on RTÉ Online and the RTÉ News Now App, or listen to commentary from Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.
Follow our live blog of Leinster v Saracens (3.30pm kick-off) this Sunday on RTÉ Online and the RTÉ News Now App.