Clermont vs Saracens
Competition: European Champions Cup Final
Date: 13 May 2017
Kick-off: 18:00 CET
Clermont vs Saracens: Preview
The defending champion Saracens have a chance to make it back-to-back titles of Europe’s premier championship, but in their way is one of the most impressive teams through the whole competition, Clermont.
The French giants Clermont have had a pretty good year both in their domestic French Top 14, as well as of course in the Champions Cup. The Top 14 saw the men from Clermont come out firing as they took a big lead that seemed almost un-chaseable through the first half of the tournament, only to fall back a bit of the pace. However, in the Champions Cup, Clermont put together some really powerful performances, dominating the likes of Ulster and Exeter in some exciting games. They also cruised through their knock out stages, especially at home where their fans carried the through games against the likes of Leinster and their compatriots, Toulon. Against Saracens they will find a team that plays a similar brand of rugby as them, a balanced and powerful one.
Saracens have always been an important team both in England and in Europe, but in recent year they have really come to the fore as dominators of rugby in the northern hemisphere. The London-based side are holders of both their domestic Premiership, and they are the European Champions Cup holders. It goes without saying that they are full of class players, but they are also a team that has an outstanding team environment that is geared towards winning and playing winning rugby. They too were dominant through the beginning stages of the Champions Cup, and did not seem to blink against big teams like Munster and the Glasgow Warriors. Clermont will be really up for this game, but the neutral venue will even things out well.
Clermont vs Saracens: Head-to-Head Stats
There have been seven encounters between these sides and it is the French side that will be the happier with their historical record. Saracens have only ever beaten Clermont twice with the French side picking up five wins.
Clermont vs Saracens: Prediction
The French are a funny bunch, and can be downright awful if they are not interested in a game, or totally fantastic if they are keen. This is a final, and the biggest final that these players can play for their clubs. Clermont is also a very proud club and would welcome back their side like heroes should they win. Even so, Clermont at its best will struggle against the well oiled machine that is the Saracens. If the English side can play to their usual best, they should be good enough to keep their title.
Clermont vs Saracens: Tips
This is a final, and both these teams have star kickers, so back the penalties to be taken and not more than two tries to be scored all match.