French Top 14: Montpellier v Castres Preview

Current Top 14 leaders Montpellier will be looking to bounce back from their eight-point defeat to Toulouse when they play host to Castres on Saturday the 24th of March.

Last week's away loss to Toulouse saw Montpellier lose ground at the top of the table with second-placed Racing Metro now only four points off Vern Cotter's side and Toulouse only a further point behind.

With the chasing pack hot on their heels, Montpellier will need to bag the points against eighth-placed Castres, who themselves will be desperate to walk away from the 'Altrad' with a win.

Montpellier v Castres
Saturday 24 March
Altrad Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 1/7
Draw 25/1

Castres 9/2

The pressure is certainly on the log-leaders, who looked to be assured of top spot in the standings only a few weeks ago. Three losses in their last five starts have put pay to those ideas, however, with Montpellier increasingly looking set to be involved in a dogfight for pole position.

While losses to Toulouse (22-14), Agen (31-29) and Lyon (36-10) will have Montpellier fans worried, it must be remembered that Cotter's side is still more than capable of putting in a magical shift, as their 41-3 victory over Racing Metro, just a fortnight ago, attests to.

Like Montpellier, Castres have produced a mixed-bag in recent weeks winning three of their last five fixtures as well. They head into this game of a solid performance against Brive, however, with the 37-28 victory moving them right back into the hunt for a play-off berth.

When these two sides met in the reverse tie it was Montpellier who managed to bag the win, running out 17-22 victors on Castres turf. The fact that Castres managed to give what was red-hot Montpellier side a run for their money back then should give this weekend's visitors hope though.

Verdict: Montpellier 1/7
It's extremely short but I can't see anything occurring this Saturday other than a home victory. This is certainly one to add to your weekend rugby multiple.

Written by Darry Worthington for

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