French Top 14: Lyon v Clermont Preview

Clermont Auvergne will tackle a plucky Lyon outfit on Saturday the 17th of February.

Reigning Top 14 Champions, Clermont, face a massive test this weekend in the form of a Lyon side who have toppled many a big name team during the 2017/18 season. The visitors currently find themselves languishing in 10th spot on the log and will need to start picking up results if they are to have any realistic chance of defending their title come May.

Lyon also need to start picking up points at a rapid rate as they have dropped out of the play-off positions and currently lie seventh on the table.

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Lyon Olympique v Clermont Auvergne
Saturday 17 February
Matmut Stadium Gerland

To Win (80 Mins)
Lyon 5/10
Draw 19/1
Clermont 31/20

Lyon Olympique
The Wolves were in all-conquering form before the Six Nations break as they hammered poor old Agen 71-17. The mammoth victory showed that there is still fight in this Lyon side, who experienced a very lean close to last year where they were only able to win one of the six games they played between November and December.

Lyon have been on the up and up since that horror run, however. They have won two of their last three fixtures with their only loss in 2018 a narrow 19-10 away defeat to the Bordeaux Begles. The Wolves have also been mightily impressive on home soil this term winning six of their eight home fixtures. 

Clermont Auvergne
Clermont really are struggling domestically this term but they are more than capable of bagging a playoff spot with only 11 points separating them and fourth-placed Castres. They will need to start picking up results as soon as possible, however, and their away trip to Lyon be the game that sparks a playoff run.

The defending champions have endured a bit of a horror run of late that has seen them lose four of their last five domestic fixtures. Their last domestic win came at the start of December where they managed to beat struggling Agen by nine points.

While Clermont have been horrific domestically, this side is still capable of producing magical displays as their massive victory away to Saracens in the Champions Cup attests to.

Verdict: Clermont 31/20
I'm going for the away win mainly because Lyon will be without in-form fly-half, Lionel Beuaxis. The veteran is the oil in this Lyon machine, which has tended to stutter when he has been absent. A small strike on the away win is my play here.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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