Clermont vs Exeter
Competition: European Rugby Champions Cup
Date: 21 January 2017
Kick-off: 14:00 CET
Clermont have very little to worry about in their last match of the group stages as they have already qualified with 21 points after losing just one game, this is actually good news for Exeter who have mounted a late charge in Europe as they may see a softer side of the French giants on their home turf.
Exeter were wallowing at the bottom of Pool five for much of the group stages, but as they have improved domestically, and other teams around them have failed, Exeter have risen to second in their pool and are in line for qualification, but the chasing pack is extremely close. Only one point back, Bordeaux are still in with a chance, and two points back is Ulster who have a home game to try win to steal second spot. Exeter do have to travel to France, but depending on the Clermont side that is out up, they will still believe they have every chance of winning and thus qualifying.
Clermont have been rampant in their domestic competition all season, and they carried that form early on into Europe with only one loss coming against Ulster in Ireland in a cracking game. Clermont have been a little off the pace recently, but for that reason they will probably welcome a chance to rest some players after a brutal 9-6 win over Bordeaux in the game last week.
Clermont vs Exeter: Previous encounter
It was a real lesson for the English side as they welcomed Clermont to Sandy park, the French ran riot as they won there 35-8. There did not look like there was much Exeter could do, but they were very off form back in that part of their season.
Clermont vs Exeter: Prediction
There is every indication that Clermont will be playing a fringe side to rest up their stars, but they’re still a proud side so it will take some work from Exeter to win this game. In saying that the English side are much improved, domestically that is, and they can front up to Clermont even on a good day. It should be a close game, but Exeter should win.
Clermont vs Exeter: Tips
There could well be a few points in this game, but both teams will score them, so don’t expect this to be a runaway either way. Bet on the winning margin to be 10 points maximum.