First time finalists Clermont and Toulon bid to become only France’s third winner of European club rugby’s most coveted competition and there is every reason to think their bid for glory will be decided at the very death.
Clermont’s preparation has been hampered by a triple injury worry with the South African pair of Daniel Kotze and Gehard Vosloo joining French international centre Aurelien Rougerie on the sidelines of training this week. All are set to face fitness tests, but hopes of their participation are not high within the camp.
Toulon do not face the same concerns but that hasn’t stopped the Southern side being installed as outsiders at 13/8 with Clermont 4/7 favourites.
Those steaming in at odds of 4/7 will be reassured by their two previous meetings in the Top 14 this year which justifies Clermont’s tag as jollies.
In their first encounter of the season, Clermont won 24-21 and when returning to the South Coast 80 minutes was not enough to separate them – both locked on 26 points.
With that in mind, picking a winner on the match betting markets, whatever information at one’s disposal, would have to be considered at least in part, a guess. Consequently smaller sakes on the Half-Time/Full Time outcome could be the best line of approach.
The nature of scoring in rugby makes the odds associated with the draw attractive ones and in a match destined to be defined by the smallest margins this could be where the value lies.
Prices of 16/1 and 22/1 for the game to be tied after 40 minutes and then either Clermont or Toulon to win respectively makes plenty of appeal. The early exchanges of massive finals in any sport are invariably fraught with tension and characterised by nerves.
It’s quite conceivable that penalties alone could be the only scoring contributions of the opening half and if that’s the case there is a live chance of the scores being level.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing