Both sides enter round three having lost both their opening two matches. Italy have played the top-two ranked teams in the competition, while France went down narrowly against Ireland in Paris and Scotland at their fortress Murrayfield. Unfortunately for both nations the loser here will in all likeliness be presented with the wooden spoon come the end of the tournament.
Interestingly, Jacques Brunel has dropped eight players from his squad here following a night out in Scotland after their last game, making the unpredictable French even more so. Perhaps the biggest loss for them will be in-form winger Teddy Thomas who has lit up the tournament with his sensational tries, while another significant change is on the other wing with Remmy Grosso replacing Virimi Vakatawa due to poor form.
At the Stade Velodrome this Friday, Conor O’Shea’s men will be hopeful of putting down a marker having lost their last 14 Six Nations matches, their joint worst run in their history of the tournament. Les Blues are also on a poor run with no win in eight and conceding an average of three tries per game. This game isn’t much of a betting heat with Italy +17 on the handicap the only bet of interest, but we’re reluctant to go down this route as they rolled over all to easily in their first two outings. However, the Azzurri have had a couple of stand-out performers with Matteo Minozzi announcing himself as an emerging talent at full-back. He was threatening against England and registered a much-deserved try against Ireland as Italy ran a few in late on.
Anytime Try Scorer Matteo Minozzi at 6, Ladbrokes
0.5pt – Last Try Scorer Matteo Minozzi at 51, Ladbrokes