Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 13 Preview

French Top 14: Round 13 Preview

Iosefa TEKORI of Toulouse during the Top 14 match between Toulouse and Toulon at Stade Ernest Wallon

The first set of Top 14 fixtures of 2020 will get underway on Saturday the 4th of January.

We get our first taste of Top 14 action for the calendar year this coming weekend, and it's set to be fascinating with Round 13 throwing up some tantalizing fixtures including a clash between heavyweights, Racing Metro 92 and Clermont Auvergne.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Agen v Lyon
Saturday 4 January
Stade Armandie

To Win (80 Mins)
Agen 15/10
Draw 18/1
Lyon 11/20

Agen will be looking to avoid yet another defeat when they take on a Lyon side who enjoyed a return to form last weekend as they hammered Bayonne 52-9.

The hosts found the going a lot tougher last weekend as they were beaten 40-8 by La Rochelle. This big defeat has seen their points differential drop way down to -69, and they now sit only a point above last-placed Stade Francis.

Verdict: Lyon 11/20
While Agen are likely to put up a fight on home soil, I cannot see them getting one over Lyon. My money is on the visitors taking it by more than 13. 

Racing Metro 92 v Clermont
Saturday 4 January

Paris La Defense

To Win (80 Mins)
Racing 3/10
Draw 19/1

Clermont 26/10

There's a massive clash next up with seventh-placed Racing Metro playing host to fifth-placed Clermont Auvergne. Only points differential separates the two sides and a win for the hosts could well see them move into the play-off places.

Both sides have enjoyed very good runs of form of the past month and a half and come into this one having both won four of their last five fixtures. Their latest outings saw Racing record a 20-44 away win over Brive and Clermont beat Castres 39-22.

Verdict: Racing 3/10This should be a thrilling encounter but one that the hosts will ultimately win. 

Bordeaux Begles v Bayonne

Saturday 4 January
Stade Chaban-Delmas

To Win (80 Mins)
Bordeaux 1/25
Draw 30/1

Bayonne 7/1

Table-toppers Bordeaux take on 11th-placed Bayonne in Saturday's next tie. The hosts have been on an incredible run this term and won their ninth domestic game of the season as they beat Pau 23-27 last weekend.

Bayonne haven't fared as well and have only won five of their 12 fixtures. They also head into this one off the back of a 52-9 defeat at the hands of Lyon.

Verdict: Bordeaux 1/25
I can't see Bordeaux having in troubles beating Bayonne by more than 18 points.

Montpellier v Brive

Saturday 4 January
GGL Stadium 

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 1/11
Draw 33/1

Brive 11/2

Montpellier will be looking for a solid start to 2020 when they take on a plucky yet limited Brive outfit. The hosts currently sit eighth on the table and have only won four of their 12 domestic fixtures. Brive are also struggling and currently lie in ninth place with only five wins from their 12 outings.

In terms of last weekend's results, Montpellier drew 20-20 with a poor Stade Francais outfit while Brive went down by 24 points to Racing Metro.

Verdict: Montpellier 1/11
They may be out of form but I cannot see Montpellier going down on home soil to Brive. However, if you are offered a plus handicap over 13 points I would recommend backing it.

Pau v La Rochelle
Saturday 4 January
Stade du Hameau

To Win (80 Mins)
Pau 6/10

Draw 18/1
La Rochelle 29/20

Saturday's fixtures come to a close at the Stade du Hameau where Pau will take on La Rochelle. Only five points separate the sides but Pau are way down in 10th spot while La Rochelle sit rather pretty in sixth.

The hosts have been in dismal form of late and have only picked up one win from their last five outings. They head into Saturday's fixture off the back of a 23-27 home defeat to high-flyers Bordeaux.

The visitors have been better over the past month and a bit and have won three of their five games. One of the aforementioned victories came last weekend when they beat 40-8.

Verdict: La Rochelle 29/20
I reckon the away side at 29/20 is excellent value.

Toulon v Castres
Sunday 5 January

Stade Mayol

To Win (80 Mins)

Toulon 1/10
Draw 28/1
Castres 52/10

Toulon will be looking to build on a solid away draw with Toulouse when they take on Castres.

The hosts have been in solid touch this term and have won six while drawing two of their opening 12 games.

Castres have been far less impressive and have already suffered seven defeats this season. They come into this one off a 39-22 defeat to Clermont.

Verdict: Toulon 1/10
I cannot see an in-form Toulon side losing this one on home soil. I reckon they'll take it by between 10 and 15 points.

Stade Francais v Toulouse
Sunday 5 January
Stade Jean Bouin

To Win (80 Mins)
Stade 29/20
Draw 18/1

Toulouse 11/20

We close out the round with a clash between a struggling Stade Francais side and reigning champions Toulouse.

The hosts managed to avoid a domestic defeat for only the fourth time this season as they drew 20-20 with Toulon this past weekend. The result did nothing for their table position, however, as they still reside at the foot of the standings.

Toulouse enjoyed an identical Round 11 result as they were held to a 20-20 draw by Toulon.

Verdict: Stade 29/20
I have a sneaky suspicion that the hosts will take this one. Toulouse have rested a lot of players with the final two rounds of the Heineken Champions Cup just around the corner. 

Written by Darry Worthington for Hollywoodbets.

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