Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 9 Preview

French Top 14: Round 9 Preview

Rugby players engage in a tackle

Darry Worthington previews the seven French Top 14 games being played between Saturday the 9th of November to Sunday the 10th.

The French Top 14 returns this week after a short hiatus, and fans are in for a treat with a number of internationals back in the mix following the conclusion of the Rugby World Cup.

Toulon v Montpellier
Saturday 9 November
Stade Mayol

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 7/20
Draw 20/1
Montpellier 9/4

Toulon will be looking to build on their 11 point home victory over a decent Bayonne side when they take on Vern Cotter's Montpellier outfit.

The visitors head into this one off a solid 33-22 home win over reigning champions Toulouse. The victory hasn't stopped the rumour mill, however, with former Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika apparently being scouted as the next coach of Montpellier.

Verdict: Toulon 7/20
I think Montpellier may come into this one slightly destabilized with all of the rumours floating around. They haven't been great on the road this season either.

Castres v Brive
Saturday 9 November
Stade Pierre-Fanre

To Win (80 Mins)
Castres 2/11
Draw 25/1
Brive  11/4

Castres will be looking to bounce back from their 13-point away defeat to Castres when they take on a Brive side that registered a highly-impressive 30-9 victory over a solid Bordeaux Begles outfit last weekend.

The visitors head into this one having one three of their last four fixtures. Most of these games have been high-scoring affairs so we could be in for a big scoreline yet again.

Verdict: Brive 11/4
I quite fancy Brive here. They are playing an exciting brand of rugby and I think it will reap dividends against a somewhat one-dimensional Castres outfit.

Bayonne v Pau
Saturday 9 November
Stade Jean Dauger

To Win (80 Mins)
Bayonne 4/10
Draw 25/1
Pau 39/20

Bayonne will be looking to bounce back from their loss to Toulouse when they take on Pau this Saturday.

The hosts have won their last three games prior to last round defeat toppling big guns La Rochelle, Montpellier as well as fellow minnows Bayonne.

Pau come into this one off slightly more patchy form having only won one of their last four fixtures. They suffered a defeat in the last round, going down to Lyon.

Verdict: 4/10
I fancy the hosts to bounce back on home soil this weekend.

Bordeaux v Agen
Saturday 9 November
Stade Chaban-Delmas

To Win (80 Mins)
Bordeaux 1/16

Draw 40/1
Agen 13/2

Bordeaux will be looking to bounce back from their 30-9 defeat to Brive when they take on 10th-placed Agen.

The hosts have been a bit up and down over the past month or so with a 25-23 defeat to log-leaders Lyon being followed by a massive victory over Clermont and then the aforementioned defeat to Brive.

Agen have also been inconsistent of late and have registered a win, a loss and a defeat in their last three outings.

Verdict: Bordeaux 1/16
The Begles have been solid on their home patch this term and I can see them beating Agen by 14 points or more. 

Toulouse v Clermont
Saturday 9 November
Stade Ernest-Wallon

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulouse 7/20
Draw 20/1

Clermont 23/10

A struggling Clermont side will be looking to maintain their upswing in fortunes when they take on reigning champions Toulouse. Both teams have been bolstered by the return of a number of internationals and we could be in for an absolute cracker here.

Toulouse have only won three of the eight fixtures they have played thus far and head into this one off the back of 33-22 defeat to Montpellier.

Clermont have turned the corner in recent weeks and head into this one having won five of their eight fixtures with their most recent victory being a 24-15 win over log-leaders, Lyon.

Verdict: Toulouse 7/20
Clermont have not been great on the road this term and I can see them struggling against a Toulouse side which has a number of international returnees.

Lyon v La Rochelle
Sunday 10 November
Stade Gerland

To Win (80 Mins)

Lyon 2/11
Draw 25/1
La Rochelle 28/10

Lyon will be looking to bounce back from their first defeat of the season when they take on La Rochelle in Sunday's opener.

The hosts went down 24-15 to Clermont in the last round. The result was a massive shock considering the form Lyon have been in.

La Rochelle enjoyed a better Round 8 as they registered a 12-6 victory over Racing Metro. The win was their fourth of the campaign and has seen them move up to sixth on the Top 14 ladder.   

Verdict: Lyon 2/11
I'm expecting a big response from the 'Wolves' here. My money is on them taking this one by more than 14 points.

Stade Francais v Racing Metro 92
Sunday 10 November
Stade Jean Bouin

To Win (80 Mins)
Stade 7/10
Draw 18/1
Racing 23/20

Struggling French giants Stade Francais and Racing Metro will clash in the final fixture of Round 9. The hosts currently lie at the foot of the table with just two wins from their eight fixtures, while Racing are a place above in 14th having won two and drawn another.

Both teams head into this one off the back of less than satisfactory results with Stade going down 27-14 to minnows Agen and Racing going down by six points to La Rochelle.

Verdict: Racing 23/20
Both teams are struggling at the minute and this could well be an ugly old affair. I'll be having a small crack on the away win as I think Racing are a slightly better outfit. 

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets

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