Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 10 Preview

French Top 14: Round 10 Preview

Cobus Reinach of Montpellier

The Covid-ravaged French Top 14 season continues this weekend with a shortened fixture list to accommodate teams who have fewer games than others. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

A quick glance at the ladder will show you just how disrupted the Top 14 season has been thus far with only Toulouse, Agen and Pau having played all of their nine fixtures. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Montpellier have only played six times this season. 

Montpellier v Castres
Friday 20 November
GGL Stadium

To Win Match
Montpellier 1/4
Draw 20/1
Castres 11/4

We kick things off at the GGL Stadium where Montpellier will try and jump start what has been a faltering season. The big spenders are currently sitting 11th on the table and have only registered two wins and a draw from the six games they have played. They do, however, have three games in hand as they have had a string of fixtures called off. They head into this one off the back of disappointing nine-point loss to Bayonne. 

Castres find themselves a position behind Montpellier on the standings having played a game more than their opponents. They have also only won two and drawn one of their fixtures. Like Montpellier, they also got a game in last week going down 29-30 to Bordeaux in an absolute nail-biter. 

Verdict: Castres 11/4
I think Montpellier might well struggle here after having a couple of weeks off. 

Stade Francais v Bordeaux
Saturday 21 November
Stade Jean Bouin

To Win Match
Stade 9/20
Draw 18/1
Bordeaux 7/4

Next up it's eighth-placed Stade Francais taking on seventh-placed Bordeaux. The hosts are enjoying a much better start to the season compared to last year and have managed to win four of their seven fixtures. They head into this one off the back of an impressive 35-13 home win over log-leading La Rochelle. 

Bordeaux have also fared well this season and have an identical win record to that of their opponents. Like Stade, they also managed a win this past round beating Castres by one point away from home. 

Verdict: Bordeaux 7/4
Again, I'm on the away side here. They are in decent touch and have the know-how to get the job done away from home. 

Bayonne v Toulon
Saturday 21 November
Stade Jean Dauger

To Win Match
Bayonne 11/10
Draw 21/1
Toulon 15/20

Next up it's ninth-placed Bayonne taking on fourth-placed Toulon. The hosts have played eight games thus far, winning four while losing two. They head into Saturday's fixture having beaten Montpellier 29-20 last weekend.

Toulon also head into this one off the back of a win - their fifth from seven games - as they beat Agen 9-38. The game marked the return of All Black veteran Ma'a Nonu, who had a solid game in the midfield for the big-spenders.  

Verdict: Toulon 15/20
I like Toulon's chances here. They seem a well-balanced side at the moment. 

Clermont v Lyon
Saturday 21 November
Stade Marcel Michellin

To Win Match
Clermont 1/6
Draw 25/1
Lyon 4/1

The penultimate game of the weekend preview sees Clermont tackle Lyon at the Stade Marcel Michlein. 

The visitors have done alright this term and currently reside in sixth spot on the Top 14 ladder having won four and drawn one of the seven games they have played. They head into Saturday's match off the back of a week off as their Round 8 fixture was called off due to COVID concerns. 

Clermont have played the exact same amount of games as their opponents but have won a game more. They also had their Round 8 fixture cancelled due to COVID. 

Verdict: Clermont 1/6
I reckon the hosts will have too much in the tank on their home patch. It should be a great game to watch, however.  

La Rochelle v Racing 92
Sunday 22 November
Stade Marcel Delfrandre

To Win Match
La Rochelle 3/10
Draw 20/1
Racing 5/2

The final catch up round fixture will see log-leading La Rochelle take on fifth-placed Racing 92. La Rochelle have enjoyed a great start to the campaign winning six of their eight fixtures. They have proved a tough nut to crack at home and will provide a stern challenge to Racing. The do, however, head into this one off the back of a surprise 35-13 defeat to Stade. 

Despite sitting four places lower than their opponents, Racing have also enjoyed a solid start to the season and have won five of their seven games. One of those five victories came last weekend when they beat Brive 19-23.

Verdict: La Rochelle 3/10
La Rochelle are strong at home and while I can see Racing giving them a run, I can't see the hosts losing. 

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