French Top 14: Toulon v Stade Francais Preview

Toulon will be looking to strengthen their grip on a Top 14 play-off berth when they play host to Stade Francais on Saturday the 17th of February.

Toulon will come into Saturday's clash against Stade as red-hot favourites with the bookmakers. The French giants currently sit fifth on the Top 14 standings while their opponents are languishing in 11th-place. But while form and history are heavily stacked in the hosts' favour, the Top 14 is a mysterious beast and you can never take an underdog lightly in the French Top tier, even if they are playing atrocious rugby.

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RC Toulonnais v Stade Francais
Saturday 17 January
Stade Felix-Mayol

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 1/14
Draw 35/1
Stade 6/1

RC Toulonnais
Toulon's patchy form has continued into the New Year with the mega-rich club winning one of the two fixtures that they have played in 2018. Their first outing of the year saw them go down 13-12 to Brive. They managed to bounce back from that defeat by claiming a 36-12 bonus point win over the Bordeaux Begles.

They may have only won a solitary game this year but Toulon have managed to keep pace with the play-off contenders by virtue of securing bonus points in their two 2018 outings. They currently occupy sixth-place on the table, level on points with Castres and Toulouse and a point above Lyon.

Stade Francais
The Parisians are enduring one of the worst seasons in the history of the club. They currently sit 11th on the standings and are just four points off second to last-placed Agen. There is some good news for fans of Stade as their side have managed to advance to the next round of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. This will be of scant constellation if Stade don't arrest their horrific domestic form, however.

Stade's recent form in the Top 14 reads like an instalment of the 'Saw' horror franchise. This weekend's visitors come into this clash off the back of a 40-5 loss to Pau, while their fixture prior to that saw them downed 28-16 by Montpellier.

Verdict: Toulon 1/14
The hosts should have no trouble seeing off their visitors, who could well be drawn into a relegation battle by the close of the month.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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