Leicester vs Montpellier
It’s the Challenge Cup final featuring England’s Tigers against the might of France’s Montpellier. It promises to be a tight affair as both these teams are forward dominated teams They are bruisers who battle hard through the tight five but both teams have great backline players like Nemani Nadolo from the Tigers and Vincent Rattez from the French outfit. They are both talented wingers but couldn’t be more different as Nadolo uses brute power to score tries while Rattez uses his speed and guile to evade defenders. The main man for the Tigers is George Ford and he showed in the semifinal how good he is at controlling the game. His opposite number Alex Lozowski also impressed in his sides semifinal victory, so this should be a fascinating duel. The Tigers have done well this season by dominating opposition sides up front but that mode of attack will not work in the final as Montpellier have a superb pack led by giant Paul Willemse. This guy in the match against Bath took control of the forward battle and won many crucial turnovers. The match will be played at Twickenham with 10000 fans allowed and this should be an advantage to the Tigers as most of their players have played at this famous ground. Montpellier will not be fazed by this as their side is filled with international stars. The French club struggled early in the season then went on a six game winning run and seems to be peaking at the right time.
TIP: All French teams pride themselves on having monstrous forward packs and Montpellier has probably the biggest forward pack in Europe. The Tigers will need to look to move the giant French pack around and make them tired. This tactic may work but will need to keep in mind that the Montpellier bench is super strong with Springboks Handre Pollard and Cobus Reinach among the replacements. The Leicester front row is used of having the upper hand and will be good to see with the opposition also possessing great strength in this area. The bookies have Leicester as slight favourites but I think this will be a French victory as they have the greater experience in their team. The best odds on the Montpellier win are as follows: Worldsportsbetting 2.20, Playabets 2.06 and Sunbet 2.00
HEAD TO HEAD STATS
Leicester vs Montpellier
- There have been only two matches between these sides and both were won by Leicester Tigers.
Latest results for both teams
Leicester won their last game against Harlequins 35-29 and Montpellier lost their last match 32-10 to Stade Francais.
We can expect finals rugby tactics therefore both these teams will avoid any risks and keep the ball amongst the forwards. Rugby finals are won by the team with the better forward pack and I feel Montpellier hold the edge in this department. The bench strength is always a factor in close matches and once again the French side holds the edge. George Ford will need to be at his best to kick wisely for territory and keep moving the French pack around. The likes of Pollard and Bismarck Du Plessis coming late into the game makes me think that Montpellier will win a tight contest by six points
- Probable Starting XVs
15 Freddie Steward, 14 Guy Porter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 George Martin, 5 Calum Green, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs (c), 1 Ellis Genge
15 Anthony Bouthier, 14 Julien Tisseron, 13 Johan Goosen, 12 Arthur Vincent, 11 Vincent Rattez, 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Benoit Paillaugue, 8 Alexandre Becognee, 7 Yacouba Camara, 6 Nico Janse van Rensburg, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Florian Verhaeghe, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Enzo Forletta.
Odds for this bet
The best odds on the Montpellier victory are as follows.
Odds comparison on a Montpellier handicap
The complete odds on the Montpellier handicap are as follows:
Worldsportsbetting (+2.5) 1.90
Playabets (+0.5) 1.89
Sunbet (+1.5) 1.83
Predictions and Odds in details
The English team has loads of experience of playing in Europe but that was a long time ago while the Montpellier team has plenty of current internationals in their team. The final match can come down to goal kicking and both sides have very accurate kickers. The discipline for each team will be crucial as errors will be punished. Montpellier showed in the semi-final that they can change their tactics and Leicester seem to have a set game plan but this could count against them especially if Montpellier dominate the set pieces. The team that can maintain the intensity for the full 80 minutes will come out on top and that the reason I’m backing Montpellier as I feel they bench will have the final say in this contest. The best odds on the Montpellier handicap are as follows: Worldsportsbetting (+2.5) 1.90, Playabets (+0.5) 1.89 and Sunbet (+1.5) 1.83
Sports crazy fan that follows all major sport but the game with the oval ball is my real passion. Was an age level rugby coach and a huge supporter of the Springboks and diehard Liverpool man. I’m an experienced punter and sports writer whose predictions/tips are sure to stir up the emotions. I love the occasional wager on the underdog.