ERCC: Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier Preview

Both Glasgow and Montpellier will be looking to breathe life into their respective Champions Cup campaigns when they go head-to-head on Friday the 8th of December.

Europe's answer to Super Rugby, the European Champions Cup, returns with a bang this Friday evening with Vern Cotter's 'Montpellier Monsters' travelling to Scotland to take on the Gregor Townsend's fleetfooted Warriors.

Both of these sides have endured extremely slow starts to the campaign and the losers of this one could well find themselves out of a running for a spot in the knock-out phase of the tournament. Needless to say, there's a hell of a lot riding on this result.

Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier Herault | Friday 8 December | Scoutstoun Stadium | 21:45

To Win (80 Mins)
7/20 Warriors | Draw 22/1 | Montpellier 22/10

Glasgow Warriors
It's really a surprise to see the Warriors languishing at the foot of Pool 3. This is a side that has been racking up victories in the Pro 14. Why can't they produce the same sort of form in Europe this season? Perhaps Glasgow's struggles are down to the opposition they faced in the opening two rounds of this season's Champions Cup.

Scotland's standout club have already met two sides with heavyweight forward packs in the form of Leinster and Exeter. They were done over by both of these sides with Leinster running out 18-34 victors at Scoutstoun in the second round and Exeter beating them 24-19 at Sandy Park in the opening round. The Warriors forwards found the going tough in both matches and were unable to get any parity at the setpiece.

The bad news for Warriors fans is that their side faces another hulking pack this weekend in the form of the Montpellier giants. If the hosts' forwards are unable to at least compete at setpieces, then this exciting Warriors backline, which features the magnificent Finn Russel, will be made redundant.

Montpellier Herault
Vern Cotter's men haven't enjoyed that much of a better start to the competition than their opponents for the weekend and are also yet to win a game. They do find themselves three points above the Warriors, due to the fact that they have claimed three bonus points - two losing and one try-scoring from their opening two fixtures.

Montpellier don't actually find themselves in the worst of position. Yes, they have suffered a home loss already - a nailbiting 24-27 defeat to the Exeter Chiefs - but their bonus point loss to Leinster (24-17) in the opening round could just help them sneak into the quarter-finals via one of the best-placed runner-up slots. They will need to get something out of this game in order for them to continue to look likely.

The French club are more than capable of upsetting the applecart in Scotland but they will need their big name players to fire on all cylinders - something which has not happened in the Top 14 over the past fortnight. The visitors come into this one off the back of consecutive domestic defeats to Racing Metro and La Rochelle. Both games saw the likes of Frans Steyn and Aaron Cruden put in subpar performances. If these two seasoned 'vets fail to produce the goods at the Scoutstoun, then Montpellier have little chance of claiming a win.

Verdict: Montpellier (+5.5) 9/10 *Expected Handicap
This game is likely to be extremely tight with both sides desperate to bag the points here. The plus handicap is likely to open up at around the 5.5 mark, which is great value.  

Written by Darry Worthington for

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