Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 4 Preview

French Top 14: Round 4 Preview

Rugby players engage in a tackle

Round 4 of the French Top 14 will get underway on Saturday the 14th of September. Our rugby scribe previews all of the action, below. 

The Top 14 throws up a fascinating fixtures list this coming weekend with the headline ties seeing reigning champions Toulouse travel to take on La Rochelle and Toulon and Racing Metro go head-to-head.

La Rochelle v Toulouse
Saturday 14 September
Stade Marcel-Delflandre
15:30


To Win (80 Mins)
La Rochelle 5/10

Draw 18/1
Toulouse 7/4

We kick things off with a mouth-watering clash between two of the big-name brands in the form of La Rochelle and Toulouse.

Both teams have only won one of their three games thus far with Toulouse beating Racing Metro 20-17 last week, and La Rochelle's sole victory coming in Round 2 where they registered a 28-26 win over Stade.

Verdict: Toulouse 7/4
I think last week's victory will see an upswing in fortunes for the visitors, who are available at a tantalizing price of 7/4 on the straight. 
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Clermont Auvergne v Pau
Saturday 14 September
Stade Marcel-Michellin

18:00

To Win (80 Mins)

Clermont 1/33
Draw 35/1
Pau 8/1


Clermont will be looking to register their third win of the season when they take on Pau this Saturday.

The hosts have had a wobbly old start to the campaign putting in poor shifts in wins over La Rochelle and Bayonne. Their luck came to a hault last weekend, however, as they were beaten 28-21 by Brive.

Pau have enjoyed a more composed opening to the season and head into this one with two wins from their first three games. The latest of these aforementioned victories being last weekend's 18-12 win over Agen.

Verdict: Pau 8/1
This is simply too big a price to pass up. Clermont are struggling at the minute and Pau could well give them a run.  

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Lyon v Brive
Saturday 14 September
Stade Gerland
18:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Lyon 1/25
Draw 35/1
Brive 7/1


Table-toppers Lyon will be looking to maintain their undefeated run when they take on an exciting Brive outfit.

The hosts head into this one off the back of wins over  Stade (49-3), Toulouse (22-10) and Toulon (6-20). Needless to say, the Wolves are in sensational form.

Brive have only won one of their games but it came last weekend against big-guns Clermont who they beat by seven points.

Verdict: Lyon 1/25
Lyon should walk this one. I can see them claiming a win in excess of 17 points. 

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Bayonne v Castres
Saturday 14 September

Stade Jean Dauger
18:00

To Win (80 Mins)
Bayonne 13/20

Draw 20/1
Castres 13/10


Next up it's new boys Bayonne hosting 2017/18 champions Castres. The hosts have only won one of their opening three games and head into this one off the back of a 33-27 defeat to an out of sorts Stade side.

Like Bayonne, Castres have only won one of their first three fixtures with their winning coming in the opening round where they beat Montpellier by a solitary point. They head into this one off the back of a 32-34 defeat to the Bordeaux Begles.

Verdict: Bayonne 13/20
There's not much to choose between the two teams at the minute which is why I'm leaning towards the hosts on the straight. The price is short but it's the most likely result.  

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Bordeaux v Stade Francais
Saturday 14 September

Stade Chaban-Delmas
20:45

To Win (80 Mins)
Bordeaux 1/8
Draw 30/1
Stade 47/10


Saturday's final game will see second-placed Bordeaux tackle a Stade side that is currently sitting in 11th-place on the Top 14 ladder.

The hosts have won their first three fixtures of the season with their latest victory being a narrow two-point win over Castres. They're playing a thoroughly entertaining brand of rugby and are certainly worth keeping an eye on.

Stade finally managed to claim a win as they racked up a 33-27 win over new boys Bayonne in Round 3.

Verdict: Bordeaux 1/8
The Begles should have no problems claiming a win over a Stade side that tends to struggle on the road.   

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Agen v Montpellier
Sunday 15 September

Stade Armandie
12:30


To Win (80 Mins)
Agen 43/20
Draw 22/1

Montpellier 17/20

We open up Sunday's double-header with a clash between 12th-paced Agen and third-placed Montpellier.

The hosts have only a solitary win under their belts with their only victory coming in Round 2 where they beat Brive 16-10. They backed that victory up with a solid Round 3 display and were unlucky to go down 18-12 to Pau.

Montpellier have enjoyed a decent start to the season bouncing back from their one-point opening round defeat to Castres by beating Pau 43-22 and La Rochelle 30-16.

Verdict: Montpellier 17/20
Aaron Cruden is in great touch at the minute and I can see the former All Black pivot guiding Montpellier to their third win of the campaign. 

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Toulon v Racing Metro
Sunday 15 September
Stade Felix Mayol

16:50
To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 9/20
Draw 20/1 

Racing 17/10

We close out the round with a clash between struggling giants Toulon and Racing Metro.

Both teams have only managed to register one win this season and come into Sunday's tie off the back of defeats with Toulon going down 6-20 to Lyon and Racing losing 20-17 to a vastly weakened Toulouse outfit.

Verdict: Toulon 9/20
I'd avoid this one as there's not enough value floating around and anything could happen when these unpredictable sides square off. 



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Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets


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