French Top 14: Clermont v Lyon Preview


Defending champions Clermont will be looking to get their title defence back on track when they take on Lyon on Saturday the 18th of November.

It's been a tough old start to the season for Clermont and things won't get much easier this weekend as they take on a Lyon side that is boxing well above their weight division. The visitors still sit top of the Top 14 standings while the hosts are way down in 10th place after nine games.

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Clermont Auvergne v Lyon Olympique | Saturday 18 November | Stade de Marcelle Michellin

To Win (80 Min)
Clermont 2/9 | Draw 22/1 | Lyon 32/10

Clermont

While not many pundits would have predicted Clermont's shocking start to the French Top 14 2017/18 campaign, it won't really come as too much of a surprise to the knowledgeable European rugby viewer as the French Top 14 is an absolute farce at times. Injuries to key midfielders and a lack of endeavour on defence have severely hampered Clermont's start to their title defence. A new week breeds new hope and a win over Lyon would go along way to restoring a semblance of hope at the Marcel Michelin Sports Complex.

Clermont fans, avert your eyes now as we're about to take a look at the form your side is carrying into this one. The defending champions head into Saturday's clash having lost five of their opening games. Their fifth loss of the season came at the hands of one of the form sides, Montpellier. There are actually a lot of positives for Clermont to take from their 28-24 defeat to Vern Cotter's Montpellier monsters.

Lyon

It's astounding to see Lyon still at the top of the Top 14 with a third of the season already gone. The Wolves really have been the joker amongst the pack this term, winning seven of their nine matches. It's not like they've just smashed sub-par opposition either, as they have beaten Racing Metro and Castres.

The visitors for this weekend head into Saturday's clash off the back of a loss. And one is left to feel that their 15-19 home defeat to La Rochelle may be the first sign of the Lyon machine starting to slow down.

This Lyon outfit may also feel the strain of the Autumn Internationals with a plethora of their players taking part in both the French Barbarians clash with the New Zealand Maori and the Fench XV's game against a second-strength All Black side.

Verdict: Clermont 2/9
The Clermont forwards put in a much better showing at the coalface against Montpellier. I'm expecting them to carry a similar work ethic into this one. And if they can lay a solid foundation for their backs to work with, then they should be able to bag the points here.  


Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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