French Top 14: Montpellier v La Rochelle Preview

Montpellier will be looking to maintain their spot at the summit of the Top 14 standings when they tackle La Rochelle on Sunday the 8th of April.

League leaders Montpellier are in for a massive test of their title credentials as they take on a La Rochelle side with their collective backs to the wall. The visitors are currently fifth-place on the log and know that a loss here could well see them drop out of play-off berths come the close of the weekend.

Montpellier v La Rochelle
Sunday 8 April
Altrad Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 1/6
Draw 23/1
La Rochelle 4/1

The current Top 14 leaders have been hit-and-miss on the domestic front of late winning two and losing two of their last four fixtures. Big victories at home over Racing (41-3) and Castres (45-7) have been offset somewhat by away defeats to Toulouse (22-14) and Agen 31-29.

Thankfully for Montpellier, they find themselves at their fortress this weekend where they are yet to suffer a domestic defeat this season. Records are made to be broken, however, and La Rochelle did beat Montpellier in the reverse fixture 26-14.

La Rochelle
The great entertainers of European rugby have arrested their horrid run of form that saw them drop down the Top 14 standings quicker than a boulder off a cliff. The Privateers have been solid in their last two domestic fixtures - the first saw them beat Lyon 19-15 while the second, and most recent, saw them beat Toulouse 31-20. However, both of these results came on home soil.

The visitors make their trip off the back of a demoralising 29-17 loss to the Scarlets in the Champions Cup quarter-finals. The result saw La Rochelle bomb out of Europe's elite rugby tournaments and they now only have domestic honours to fight for.

Verdict: La Rochelle 4/1
This is purely based on gut feel but I just think La Rochelle are due an away win. They know their season is on the line and I'm expecting a big performance from the visitors this weekend. I will be having a very small strike on this one, however. 

Written by Darry Worthington for

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