French Top 14: Racing Metro v Clermont Preview

French heavyweights Racing Metro and Clermont will square off at the U Arena on Sunday the 7th of January. 

It is undoubtedly the clash of the weekend but the edge may be taken off the Sunday's battle between Clermont and Racing Metro with the Champions Cup window looming so large. Both of these sides are yet to secure their place in the next round of Europe's premier inter-country club tournament. As such, we may see both teams rotate this coming weekend, with domestic commitments playing second-fiddle to European obligations.
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Racing Metro 92 v Clermont Auvergne | Sunday 7 January | U Arena | 22:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Racing 3/10 | Draw 21/1 | Clermont 26/10


Racing Metro 92
It's been a good couple of months for Racing who have seen their stocks rise both on the European market as well at home. They currently sit in fourth place on the Top 14 log and have seen the prospect of a home play-off fixture dramatically rise over the past two months,

They are, however, in a bit of a perilous position in Europe. They currently sit four points off Pool 4 Champions Cup toppers Munster and need to at least claim five points from their remaining two Champions Cup games in order to have a sniff of advancing to the quarter-finals of the competition.

With their European aspirations likely to take centre stage, Racing may opt to make a few changes from the side that beat Oyonnax 12-16 last weekend. Which may open the door for a famous Clermont away win.

Clermont Auvergne
Clermont really have been struggling domestically this term but their European form may come back to save them as they currently sit rather pretty Pool 1 of the Champions Cup. Clermont currently sit five points clear of Ospreys on the Pool 1 Champions Cup standings and two points further clear over Saracens.

The French club only really need two more points from their remaining two European games to secure qualification for the Champions Cup quarter-finals. This means that they really don't need to rotate this weekend as they can run the risk of a few injuries.

So Clermont will probably be a bit stronger, in terms of personnel, than their opponents but don't go running to the bookmakers with your Christmas bonus as Clermont have struggled on the road this term losing all of their away games. They also come into this one off the back of a rather demoralising 27-31 home defeat to Castres.

Verdict: Clermont 26/10
I will be having a very conservative strike on Clermont this weekend. This is really a gut call, so don't stake the rent money on it, but I think Clermont may just spring a surprise here. They're likely to field a rather strong side, and they're certainly due an away win.

Written by Darry Worthington for @Hollywoodbets.net

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