Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 16 Preview

French Top 14: Round 16 Preview

Darry Worthington previews the four Top 14 catch-up games which are taking place this coming weekend.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The 6 Nations may be the highlight of the rugby weekend, but there's still plenty of domestic action taking place around the European continent including four Top 14 catch-up games. 

The Top tier of French rugby has actually thrown up some rather fascinating fixtures this weekend, which will be made all the more intriguing by a number of the big sides missing international due to the start of Europe's premier international rugby tournament, 

Clermont v Lyon
Friday 5 February
Parc Des Sports Marcel Michelin

To Win (80 Mins)
Clermont 26/100
Draw 25/1
Lyon 31/10

We kick things off with the pick of this weekend's action which will see sixth-placed Clermont tackle seventh-placed Lyon. The two sides are separated by just two points on the standings, so the winner of this will likely finish the weekend inside the 'Barrage/play-off' places. 

Both teams head into this one off the back of disappointing one-point home defeats with Lyon going down 17-18 to Pau and Clermont going down 36-37 to the Bordeaux Begles. 

All of the last five clashes between the sides have done the way of the team hosting the fixture with Clermont winning three and Lyon winning two. The last time they met, Clermont ran out 24-15 victors at this weekend's venue. 

Verdict: Lyon 31/10
I'm expecting this game to be a close run thing and my main play will be on the Lyon plus. I will also be having a small strike on Le Wolves to win the game. 

Montpellier v Stade Francais
Saturday 6 February
GGL Stadium

To Win (80 Mins)
Montpellier 14/10
Draw 18/1
Stade 61/100

Hapless Montpellier will be looking for only their fourth win of the campaign when they take on a Stade side that have already secured eight victories. 

The hosts are really struggling at the minute and currently lie 13th on the standings. It is looking more and more likely that they'll spend the season scrapping it out in a battle to avoid relegation. Stade sit a lot prettier than their hosts and are currently eighth on the standings. 

In terms of recent form, Stade head into this one off the back of a 29-9 home win over Castres while Montpellier went down 22-24 to Racing last weekend. 

Verdict: Montpellier 14/10
They have actually given a couple sides a good run of it recently and I think they will finally get that allusive win this coming weekend. 

Racing Metro 92 v La Rochelle
Sunday 7 February
Paris La Defense Arena

To Win (80 Mins)
Racing 6/10
Draw 20/1
La Rochelle 29/20

We've got another heavy-hitting match next up with second-placed La Rochelle taking on third-placed Racing 92. Only two points separate the sides on the ladder so a win for either would see them conclude the weekend in second place. 

La Rochelle are undefeated in 2021 beating both Agen 14-43 and Bayonne 40-13. Clermont have endured a far tougher start to the year losing to Bordeaux and Toulon while beating Clermont 22-24 and Montpellier 22-24. 

Verdict: Racing 6/10
I reckon home ground advantage will swing this one in favour of a Racing Metro side who tend to get the job done in Paris.  

Jockeys Ride Horses

Castres v Bayonne
Sunday 7 February
Stade Pierre Fabre

To Win (80 Mins)
Castres 2/9
Draw 25/1
Bayonne 7/2

The final game of the weekend will see 11th-placed Castres take on 12th placed Bayonne. Seven points separate the sides on the log standings and a win for either would go a long way in helping them avoid getting dragged into a relegation battle. 

In terms of recent form, Castres have won three of the five games they have played this year but head into this one off the back of defeats to Clermont 59-19 and Stade 29-9. Meanwhile, Bayonne have lost to Pau 22-23 and La Rochelle 40-3. 

Verdict: Castres 2/9
Again, I'll be backing the home side to deliver here. 

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