ERCC: Castres v Racing Metro Preview

It will be an all-French affair at the Stade Pierre Fabre with an in-form Racing Metro taking on Castres on Saturday the 9th of December.

French heavyweights, Racing Metro, will be looking to carry their scintillating recent domestic form into Europe this week when they take on local foes Castres. The hosts are in decent enough touch in the Top 14 and come into this one off the back of a 31-41 away victory over Toulouse.

So which one of these red-hot sides will take the honours this Saturday? let's see if we can find out.

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Castres Olympique v Racing Metro 92 | Saturday 9 December | Stade Pierrer Fabre | 20:30

To Win (80 Mins)
5/10 Castres | 22/10 Draw | Racing 31/20

Castres Olympique
They may not be a considered a French 'Glamour Club' but Castres certainly deserve a spot at European rugby's 'Big Boy' table. Christophe Urios' men continue to give a solid account of themselves in the Top 14 and currently sit fifth on their domestic log, having won seven of their opening 12 fixtures.

Europe hasn't been as kind to them and this plucky bunch of journeymen and youngsters, who are yet to win a Champions Cup game this term. They have managed to pick up three points from their opening two games though, which has left them in a rather handy position considering they only sit three points off Pool 4 leaders, the Leicester Tigers.

The French club put in solid performances during the two aforementioned games, drawing 17-17 with Munster in the opening round, and securing a try-scoring bonus point in their 54-29 defeat to Leicester.

Racing Metro 92
The Parisians early season woes seem but a distant memory now with the 2015/16 Top 14 Champions putting in some marvellous domestic displays over the past month. Back-to-back victories over Toulon and Montpellier have seen the Racing faithful become a lot more positive about their side's chances in both the Top 14 and Europe. And while they did go down to Stade Francais this past weekend, they were fielding a much-weaker squad due to them focusing their attention on the Champions Cup action.

Racing currently sit third in the Champions Cup Pool 4 standings, two points above Castres and two points behind Leicester, They've acquired five points from their opening two fixtures, with four of those points coming courtesy of their 22-18 opening victory over Leicester and their other point stemming from the losing bonus-point they picked up when they went down 14-7 to Munster.

Verdict: Castres 5/10
On paper, at least, Racing should walk away with this one. But as we all know, rugby games aren't won on paper. Castres have a proud home record while Racing aren't the best of travellers. As such, I'll be having a decent strike on the home win.   

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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