Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: French Top 14: Round 17 Preview

French Top 14: Round 17 Preview

Darry Worthington takes a look at all the French Top 14 action, which will get underway on Friday the 12th of February. 

Image Copyright- Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Last weekend's catch-up fixtures proved a rather profitable exercise for yours truly with three of the four tips arriving. While two of these three paid out at rather short odds, Montpellier's win over Stade  
Francais ensured it was a decent weekend of Top 14 punting.

We've got a full round of fixtures this coming weekend, and here's hoping that decent run of form continues this weekend. 

Toulouse v Pau
Friday 12 February
Stade Ernest Wallon 

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulouse 1/12
Draw 35/1
Pau 7/1

We kick things off with a clash between log-leaders Toulouse and 11th-placed Pau. Both sides enjoyed a week off last week as neither was involved in the catch-up games. Toulouse have been out of action for a fortnight actually, as their game against La Rochelle which was scheduled for the 1st of February, was called off due to COVID. 

In terms of the sides most recent result, Toulouse beat Agen 0-59 while Pau went down 17-18 to Lyon. The hosts have lost quiet a few players to 6 Nations call-ups but they still have a squad littered with international talent.  

Verdict: Toulouse
While they are without some of their big guns, I still can't see Toulouse having any problems beating a plucy but limited Pau outfit. 

Bordeaux Begles v Stade Francais
Saturday 13 February
Stade Chaban-Delmas

To Win (80 Mins)
Bordeaux 2/7
Draw 20/1
Stade 29/10

We head to the Stade Chaban Delmas for our next Round 17 installment which will see the fifth-placed Bordeaux Begles play host to eighth-placed Stade Francais. 

Bordeaux enjoyed a bye week this past week while Stade played a catch-up fixture against a struggling Montpellier with the game providing something of a shock result as Montpellier hammered 31-6 by the out of sorts side. Bordeaux's last fixture saw them beat Clermont 36-37. 

Verdict: Bordeaux 2/7
I feel Stade will struggle again here, which is why the Bordeaux win is one of my bankers for the weekend. 

Agen v Clermont
Saturday 13 February
Armandee Stadium


To Win (80 Mins)
Agen 14/1
Draw 45/1
Clermont N/A

Next up it's last-placed Lyon taking on fourth-placed Clermont. The hosts are still yet to win a game losing all 15 of the fixtures they have played this term. They head into this one with a points differential of -382 and they went down 0-59 to Toulouse in their last outing. 

Clermont have fared far better this season registering nine wins and a draw from their 16 fixtures. One of the aforementioned victories came last weekend where they beat Lyon 26-18. 

Verdict: Clermont
I predict that Agen's woes will continue here and that Clermont will register a bonus point win. 

Castres v Montpellier
Saturday 13 February
Stade Pierre-Fabre

To Win (80 Mins)
Castres 62/10
Draw 20/1
Montpellier 14/10

Montpellier will be looking to build on their 31-6 victory over Stade when they take on Castres at the Stade Pierre-Fabre. 

The visitors managed to snap a horrid run of form with last week's win which was only their fourth victory of the campaign. The win has seen them almost move clear of the relegation places. 

Castres are having a better time of it this year and currently sit 10th on the log with seven wins and a draw from their 16 outings. One of their seven victories came last weekend where they beat Bayonne 31-21. 

Verdict: Montpellier
I said they were due a run of wins last week and I reckon Montpellier will start to deliver the good. My money is on the away side this weekend.  

Racing 92 v Lyon
Saturday 13 February
Paris La Defense Arena

To Win (80 Mins)
Racing 37/100 
Draw 20/1
Lyon 23/100

Two sides who are looking to challenge for the Top 14 title will square off next with seventh-placed Lyon taking on third-placed Racing Metro.

The hosts have given a solid account of themselves this term winning 11 of the 16 fixtures they have played. Lyon have fared slightly worse but has still given a decent account of themselves winning eight and drawing one of their 15 games. 

In terms of the two sides recent results, Racing come into this one off the back of am impressive 26-22 win over La Rochelle while Lyon went down 26-18 to Clermont during last weekend's catch-up fixtures. 

Verdict: Racing
They're in solid touch at the moment while Lyon have hit a bit of patchy form. My money is on the hosts taking the spoils this Saturday. 

Toulon v La Rochelle
Saturday 13 February
Stade Felix Mayol

To Win (80 Mins)
Toulon 6/10
Draw 20/1
La Rochelle 14/10

The penultimate match of the weekend will see sixth-placed Toulon take on second-placed La Rochelle. The sides are separated by seven points on the ladder standings and a win for the hosts would see them edge closer to a home bplay-off place. 

Toulon enjoyed a bye week last weekend with their last outing in Round 16 seeing them suffer a disappointing 25-23 loss ton  Brive. Unlike Toulon, La Rochelle were in action last week going down 26-22 to Racing in a pulsating fixture. 

Verdict: Toulon
Toulon tend to fare better on home soil and I reckon they'll get a vital win this coming weekend.  

Bayonne v Brive
Sunday 14 February
Stade Jean Dauger

To Win (80 Mins)
Bayonne 7/10
Draw 20/1
Brive 12/10

Proceedings will come to a close at the Stade Jean Dauger where 13th-placed Bayonne will tackle ninth-placed Brive. The hosts will be desperate for the win here as it could move them away from what is looking to be a relegation dogfight of note. 

The hosts head into this one off the back of a rather disappointing catch up game defeat which saw them go down 31-12 to Castres. Brive had the luxury of a week off and head into this one off the back of a solid 25-23 home win over a star-studded Toulon side. 

Verdict: Brive
I reckon the visitors have enough in their locker to get one over Bayonne this Sunday.  

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

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