Eddie O'Sullivan previews Munster's Champions Cup match against Racing 92

Former Ireland head coach feels Irish province will have upper hand

BY Raf Diallo 20:18 Friday 6 January 2017, 20:18 6 Jan 2017

Donnacha Ryan, Conor Murray and Dave Foley ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Eddie O'Sullivan feels Munster have a "great opportunity" to boost their European Rugby Champions Cup progression hopes against a weakened Racing 92 team.

The French club have lost three matches from three in Pool 1 so far to sit bottom of the group, while Munster have picked up 11 points and will go top of the pool with a victory at Stade Yves-du-Manoir.

Speaking to Off The Ball, ex-Ireland head coach O'Sullivan makes Munster overwhelming favourites.

"It's a great opportunity for them because Racing aren't putting out there strongest 15. They're out of the tournament and made a lot of changes," he said.

"Now, that could go two ways for Racing. Munster can't control that. They've got to control their own performance and they need to go out there and be really focused."

The match will be an emotional occasion for Munster's players, staff and supporters. Saturday's fixture in Paris had been due to be played on October 16th 2016.

However, before the match, Munster head coach Anthony Foley sadly passed away in the team hotel in Paris.

The fixture was postponed and rescheduled for January 7th.

"They've had a lot of emotional occasions since Anthony Foley passed away. There was the one straight afterwards when they played in Thomond Park against the Glasgow Warriors and there has been another game since," said O'Sullivan.

"They've got past all those [matches] and delivered performances. So they'll know themselves, it will be about staying in the zone and getting big performances tomorrow. It's in their own hands because they know this Racing team are very take-able even though they're at home."  

He added: "There will be an emotional dimension to it but they've come through these emotional occasions before and they will be well able to manage that aspect of it."

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