Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 12 Preview

French Top 14: Round 12 Preview

Simon Zebo and Juan Imhoff of Racing 92

Darry Worthington previews the seventh Round 12 French Top 14 games being played between Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th of September. 

Things are starting to heat up in the Top 14 with the battle to avoid relegation and the fight for play-ff positions really taking shape.

The last set of fixtures of the year look rather tantalizing with the headline clash seeing reigning champions Toulouse take on a resurgent Toulon outfit.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports
Lyon v Bayonne
Saturday 28 December
Matmut Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Lyon 1/20
Draw 30/1
Bayonne 7/1

Second-placed Lyon will be looking to claim their ninth win of the campaign and pile the pressure on log-leaders Bordeaux when they take on eighth-placed Bayonne, who have won five of their opening 11 games.

Both teams have been in horrendous form of late with Lyon only managing one victory in their last five fixtures across all-competitions and Bayonne's best result across their last five games being a draw.

Verdict: Lyon 1/20
They may be in poor form but I simply can't see Lyon going down to Bayonne at the Matmut Stadium. My money is on the hosts winning it by more than 15 points.

Brive v Racing Metro 92
Saturday 28 December
Stade Amedee-Domenech

To Win (80 Mins)
Brive 8/10
Draw 18/1
Racing 1/1

Racing Metro will be looking to close in on the play-off places when they take on sixth-place Brive in Saturday's next instalment.

The visitors are in decent touch at the minute and have won their last three fixtures in all competitions. Brive, on the other hand, have endured a patchy couple of weeks and head into this one having won one, lost one and drawn one.

Verdict: Racing 1/1
I'm going for the away side here. They will be targeting this one, and with the form they are in I can see them claiming the points.

Montpellier v Stade Francais
Saturday 28 December
GGL Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 1/10
Draw 30/1
Stade 52/10

Fourth-placed Montpellier will be looking to inflict further misery upon Stade Francais when they two sides lock horns this Saturday.

The visitors currently reside at the foot of the Top 14 log and have lost three of their last five fixtures. Montpellier have also struggled in recent weeks and head into this one having lost their last three games on the trot.

Verdict: Montpellier 1/10
This is just the game Montpellier need to turn things around. I can see them claiming a bonus point and winning this fixture by more than 15.

Pau v Bordeaux Begles
Sunday 29 December
Stade du Hameau

To Win (80 Mins)
Pau 11/10
Draw 18/1
Bordeaux 8/10

Pau will be looking to maintain top spot on the log when they take on 12th-placed Pau in Sunday's first fixture.

The visitors have enjoyed a great start to the season and have won eight of their 11 Top 14 games while only tasting defeat on two occasions. They head into this one off the back of a 20-15 victory over La Rochelle.

Pau have been far less prolific this term and have only won five of their opening 11 Top 14 fixtures. They suffered their sixth defeat of the campaign last weekend as they went down 21-18 to a poor Stade Francais outfit.

Verdict: Bordeaux 8/10
I fancy Bordeaux to take the spoils here.

La Rochelle v Agen
Sunday 29 December
Stade Marcel-Delfrandre

To Win (80 Mins)
La Rochelle 1/12
Draw 30/1
Agen 57/10

La Rochelle will be looking to move into the play-off places when they take on an Agen side they currently sit second-to-last on the standings.

La Rochelle have struggled lately winning only two of their last five fixtures in all competitions. Agen have had an even tougher time of it, however, and head into this one off the back of five successive defeats.

Verdict: La Rochelle 1/12
I cannot see La Rochelle losing this one. In fact, I'll be surprised if they win this one by fewer than 14 points.

Clermont v Castres
Sunday 29 December
Parc des Sports Marcel-Michellin

To Win (80 Mins)
Clermont 1/14
Draw 35/1
Castres 6/1

The penultimate game of the round will see seventh-placed Clermont take on 11th-placed Castres.

The hosts really have started to find form in recent weeks ad head into this one having won three of their last four fixtures. Castres are in even better form having won four of their last five games.

Verdict: Clermont 1/14
While I expect Castres to give them a run, I can see Clermont coming out on top by more than 10 points courtesy of a late second-half blitz.

Toulouse v Toulon
Sunday 29 December
Stade Municipal

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulouse 2/11
Draw 25/1
Toulon 37/10

Reigning champions Toulouse take on a seemingly resurgent Toulon outfit in the final fixture of the weekend.

The hosts are currently on a great run of form and have won all of their last five fixtures with their latest victory being last weekend's 8-13 away win over Agen.

Like their opponents, Toulon also head into this one having won their last five fixtures with their latest being a 41-19 trouncing over Clermont.

Verdict: Toulouse 2/11
This should be a great game of rugby with both sides firing n all cylinders. I can see the hosts edging it by no more than eight points.

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