Preview: Clermont v Munster

Date published: December 14 2014

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Munster will seek to become the first Irish team to win at the Stade Marcel Michelin if they are to get their quarter-final hopes back on track.

The Irish side were less stunned last week as Clermont secured a historic victory at Thomond Park to take control of Pool One.

While les Jaunards are just a point clear of the Irishmen, and fellow challengers Saracens, they take on both their pool rivals at home in the second half of the pool stages.

That leaves them in prime position to secure a home quarter-final, however Munster know all about upsetting the odds.

If they want to win this weekend, they will first need to sort out their carrying game, after being smashed at the gainline all game-long in Limerick.

With injuries up front, Anthony Foley has made three changes in total, including a start for John Ryan in the absence of injured pair Dave Kilcoyne and James Cronin.

Andrew Conway comes on to the right wing, but the most notable new face is JJ Hanrahan, who comes in at inside centre.

The highly-rated youngster was linked to a move to Northampton earlier this week, but will get a rare start as Munster look for a little more creativity in their backline.

Hanrahan certainly knows what it takes to win in France, having scored the last-minute try in Perpignan last year that secured victory.

Clermont have also tweaked their lineup with four changes, including the long-awaited return of Morgan Parra.

The scrum-half has been missing for two months with a shoulder injury, but comes straight into the starting lineup, where he is joined by Zac Guildford on the wing.

Julien Bonnaire misses out, so Alexandre Lapandry gets a start, having impressed off the bench last week with ten tackles in just 20 minutes.

The final change sees Davit Zirakashvili come in at tighthead prop for Cl

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