Italy vs France
Competition: Six Nations
Date: 11 March 2017
Kick-off: 14:30 CET
This all continental clash always has a special edge to it as these teams play a slightly different style of rugby compared to the other home nations. More so in this encounter is that France have only five points and Italy will feel they can strike and get five of their own to make the last game interesting.
Italy have been a better side this year, despite not picking up a single point. They have lost three from three but they have also string together some performances, or at least some halves, that have really looked good and made other big sides stress – such as England and Wales. They should be applauded for their tactics vs England, and how much they disrupted a solid game plan with some ingenuity. They also pushed the Welsh close and managed to lead the first half. If they were able to hold together an 80 minute performance they probably would have eight points and would be sitting in third rather than rock bottom.
The French have also looked a better side this year, far more consistent compared to their usual erratic selves. Again, the results have not gone their way but their performances have been good enough to see them get at least five points from their three games. They pushed England close in their opening game, managed to beat a revived Scottish side and then almost picked up another losing bonus point against Ireland in a tight game. They will fancy themselves against Italy, even though it is away from home, but they will have to be wary as the Italians are now famed for springing a trap.
Italy vs France: Head-to-Head Stats
Italy in general do not have very good stats against the Six Nations teams, and it is nothing different when you look at how they have fared against France. In 38 matches overall, Italy can only claim three wins while France have 35. Two of those Italian wins came in a space of three years from 2011 to 2013.
Italy vs France: Prediction
Italy have been better this year, and they have gone out there to win games, but then in saying that, France have also been a smarter team. You have to give both sides credit, but still, the historical advantage is with the French and they should be too strong for the Italians.
Italy vs France: Tips
If you do want a bold bet, then go for Italy to win as they are at home and they could throw a real surprise tactic that the French won’t deal well with.