Pro 14: Cardiff Blues v Free State Cheetahs Preview

The Cheetahs will be looking to make the most of Cardiff''s star players being on international duty when the two sides square off on Saturday the 10th of February.

The Free State Cheetahs have a massive advantage this week with their fellow Pro14 competitors missing a host of big guns due to the Second Round of the 2018 Six Nations taking place this coming weekend. As such, Cardiff will be missing the likes of Gareth Anscombe, who's been outstanding this season.

Cardiff Blues v Free State Cheetahs | Saturday 10 February | Cardiff Arms Park | 21:35

To Win (80 Mins)
Cardiff 6/10
Draw 17/1
Cheetahs 29/20

Cardiff Blues
The Blues have enjoyed a solid run of late in Europe booking a spot in the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals. Their recent form in the Pro14 hasn't been as eye-catching, however, as they have lost three of their last four matches, with their only victory during this period coming against the Newport Gwent Dragons in late December.

As noted earlier in the piece, the Blues will be devoid of a host of stars due to Six Nations commitments. This coupled with the fact that they are facing something of an injury crisis will mean that they will field an extremely weakened matchday 23 this coming Saturday.

Free State Cheetahs
Unlike Cardiff, the Cheetahs have been in rollicking form of late in the Pro14 and have only lost one of their previous five games. There two most recent fixtures saw them register bonus point wins over fellow South African side, the Kings. Those two victories have left Rory Duncan's men only five points adrift of second-placed Munster on the Conference A standings.

The Cheetahs have also received some good news on the injury front with veterans Torsten van Jaarsveld and Francois Venter set to return to the fold this week. Venter's return couldn't have come at a better time as his fellow centre, William Smal-Smith, suffered a serious injury during the Cheetahs last encounter with the Kings.

Verdict: Cheetahs 29/20
This is essentially a massive chance for the Cheetahs to bag some momentum through a win over a weakened Cardiff outfit. I can see the men from Bloemfontein doing just that this coming Saturday. 

Written by Darry Worthington for

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