They were rewarded with home ties in the last eight and neither team was unduly tested a fortnight ago as Bath cruised past Brive and Wasps saw off Gloucester. Bath ran in six tries against their French opponents, while only a late Gloucester comeback took the gloss off a substantial scoreline as far as Wasps were concerned.
A semi-final spot is already an improvement on last season for both teams after they were knocked out in the quarter-finals 12 months ago as Stade Francais won at The Rec and Leinster triumphed in High Wycombe despite similarly impressive showings in the pool stages.
Neither side has reached a European final in recent seasons, with Wasps winning the Heineken Cup for a second time in 2007, the year before Bath added an Amlin Challenge Cup crown to their list of honours. Wasps were Challenge Cup kings in 2003, while Bath became the first English outfit to win the Heineken Cup in 1998.
Bath put an indifferent run of form behind them prior to their victory over Brive, with back-to-back domestic wins over Gloucester and Worcester ensuring they head up the M4 with plenty of confidence. That belief will be bolstered by the fact that they have already beaten Wasps twice this season, starting with a straightforward success at Adams Park in late November. Bath were comfortable 28-5 winners in the away fixture and they followed that up with maximum points when they welcomed Wasps to the West Country three months later.
Wasps were well below par in the opening encounter but they caused Bath plenty of problems with ball in hand when they met in February and they will fancy their chances of doing the same this Sunday given that they touched down five times against Gloucester at Twickenham in the Aviva Premiership at the weekend.
No8 Nathan Hughes should be one to watch after winning three man-of-the-match awards in his last four games, while former England flanker James Haskell seems to be rediscovering the kind of form that saw him hit a half century of international caps in the final game of the 2013 Six Nations.
Wasps fans will also have been delighted to see wing Tom Varndell return to action at the weekend after three months out with a ruptured bicep. The former Leicester flyer has a sensational try-scoring record in European rugby having crossed the line 36 times in 41 appearances, including 20 in just 17 Amlin Challenge Cup fixtures.
But Bath also received good news last week as England duo Jamie Joseph and Rob Webber returned to action after lengthy absences. Their availability, and the fact that Samoan back row Alafoti Fa'osiliva featured for Bath's second string on Tuesday night, now means that Springbok star Francois Louw is now the only front line player not fit enough to feature.
- Since losing the 2007 to ASM Clermont Auvergne, Bath have won 22 of their 23 ensuing fixtures in the competition, a quarter-final defeat to Stade Francais Paris last season the only blemish on their record.
- The last time all four Challenge Cup semi-finalists were English, Bath lifted the trophy (2008).
- Carl Fearns has made the most tackles (68/70) and beaten the second most defenders (23) of any player in the tournament so far.
- William Helu has dotted down for six tries in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season putting him top of the list with Andrew Fenby of London Irish who also has six.