Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Top 14 catch-up fixtures

Top 14 catch-up fixtures

Shaun Goosen previews all Top 14 catch-up fixtures taking place this weekend. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Saturday 16 January

Bordeaux-Begles v Clermont Auvergne
Stade Chaban-Delmas

With both sides level on points, Clermont will be keen to make the most of their game in hand and knock over Bordeaux-Begles at the Stade Chaban-Delmas on Saturday.

The visitors are eighth but have accumulated the same number of points (33) as Bordeaux, albeit having played one game less. After a rough last few months that has yielded just three wins from eight matches, Franck Azema’s men must take full advantage here.

Bordeaux come off the back of a rather inconsistent period themselves and can make a big statement with a win here. 

Verdict: Clermont
It should be a close one but Clermont’s big guns should come to the fore for them.

Bayonne v Pau
Parcking Stade Jean Dauger

Eleventh-placed Bayonne can make the most of their games in hand when they host Pau at the Parcking Stade Jean Dauger on Saturday.

Despite their poor record, Bayonne can make the most of their current position having played the least amount of matches all tournament (11 – Toulouse, Brive and Agen have played 14). The club from southwestern France will look to kickstart their comeback trail this weekend against a side that has lost seven of their last eight.

Pau have won just four of their 13 matches so far this season. Aside from a 26-23 round one win over 13th-placed Montpellier, they have lost four of their five away games and that trend doesn’t look set to change here.  

Verdict: Bayonne
The hosts will be too strong for Pau at the Parcking Stade Jean Dauger.

Sunday 17 January
Montpellier v Castres
GGL Stadium
Montpellier will look to end their torrid six game losing streak when they host Castres at the GGL Stadium on Sunday.

The big spenders, who recently signed England back row Zac Mercer and have been linked with Israel Folau, sacked coach Xavier Garbajosa several weeks ago. They are hoping new boss Philippe Saint-Andre will bring some positivity back to the talented squad because, momentarily lying in 13th spot, things ain’t looking too rosy.

Castres, meanwhile, are 10th with just five wins in 12 to show for their efforts this season. They’ve slowly improved following a big loss to Clermont in November and should be up for this one.

Verdict: Montpellier
The law of averages would suggest Montpellier must surely win soon. With Saint-Andre now familiar enough with his troops, it should be here.

Racing 92 v Toulon
La Defense Arena

The pick of the weekend’s action sees Racing 92 host Toulon at the La Defense Arena in Paris on Sunday.

The hosts have won six on the bounce since a November defeat at La Rochelle and recently pipped a powerful Clermont outfit by two points at the Stade Michelin. Currently just six points off the pace in third with two matches in hand, they will be eager to chip away at table-toppers Toulouse’s tally.

Toulon are sixth after winning seven and losing five of their 12 matches thus far. Level on points with two other sides and one point behind two more, the inherent competitiveness of the league means any defeat can be fatal. Patrice Collazo will have much to play for this weekend.

Verdict: Racing 92 
Racing have been so good of late and should just have enough to overcome Toulon here.

Written by Shaun Goosen for Hollywoodbets.

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