The Champions Cup game of the Stade Français vs Leicester game will take place on Sunday at 12:30 PM ET. This will be the first group-stage game for Stade Français Paris after the Leicester Tigers won on December 10 against the Stormers. While Stade Français lost on the road against the Sale Sharks, it will be on home soil (where French club’s enjoy a formidable home-field advantage).

Other fixtures play out across England, Ireland, and South Africa though this fixture is a highlight for each club’s festive season. The traveling Tigers’ fans will enjoy an ‘offshore trip’ and for the hosts, the transition to Premiership-style rugby will be a test.

Stade Français vs Leicester at Stade Jean-Bouin

Stade Français is coming into this game, after a loss on the road in northern England against the Sale Sharks. The defence of the Top14 team was impressive, however “The hosts broke the resolved defence of their French opposition,” (source: Champions Rugby) with three tries in the second half.

Record: Stade Français (2-0-3)

As of recently, Stade Français Paris has been up and down. For example, they got a big win on the road in the Top14 league against Lyon, then they lost a game straight after at home against Racing 92. As of right now, Stade Français is tied in points in fourth place with Pau with six wins and three losses.

A good place to be, however, they have lost two of those three games in their last five.

Leicester Tigers (4-0-1)

Since losing on the road against the Harlequins F.C., Leicester has won four straight games. This includes a home opening win in the Champions Cup against the Stormers (source: Leicester Tigers). This is what Leicester Tigers scrum-half Ben Youngs, said about the win:

“Under pressure, first half, but some of the stuff was our own undoing,“ Youngs said. “The second half, we got it right, we played in the right areas, difficult conditions to be honest you. Like the pitch is taking a bit of a pounding and pretty swirly up there.”

After a poor start, the Tigers are now starting to pick things up in the Gallagher Premiership, they sit seventh in the league with four wins and four losses. Additionally, Leicester got a bonus try very late in the game.

INVESTEC Champions Cup: Head-to-head

These two teams have not met up since 2016 and have only faced each other three times. The common denominator in those three games though is that the home team has always won the game. This was true in their first meeting on November 13, 2015, by a scoreline of 33-20, and on April 10, 2016, by a scoreline of 41-13, as the Tigers won both of those games.

This compares with Stade Français who won their last home game against Leicester on January 24, 2016, by a scoreline of 36-21.

Keep in mind that was many years ago, although it does show that the home team does have some advantage.

Games coming up for both teams

READ MORE: 14 Fun Facts of Top14 Round Nine

Both teams will play at Stade Jean-Bouin in Paris, France. The game starts at 5:30 PM GMT/6:30 PM CET. It will be shown live on TNT Sports.

Even though this game is early in the Champions Cup competition, a lot is riding on this advance fixture. The Tigers could open the tournament with two straight wins and put themselves in a good position to progress past the pool stage in the New Year.

On the other hand, Stade Français would want to avoid a loss as that could put them into jeopardy of not advancing to the knockout stages. This is especially true when there are only four games played in the pool stage [for European Professional Rugby Club competition]. Take your opportunity now, or sit on that pebble all through the holiday season’s calendar.

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Other Champions Cup fixtures: Friday December 15: Bayonne vs Glasgow | Northampton vs Toulon
Saturday Dec 16: Saracens vs Connacht | Stormers vs La Rochelle | Bordeaux Begels vs Bristol | Leinster vs Sale

 

Photo credit: Liondartois on Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0 DEED

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