Italy v France Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 16th March 2019

Italian Flag Rugby Ball
France Flag Rugby Ball

The Six Nations wraps up on Saturday, and while the title race continues neither Italy nor France are involved. These two sides are in the bottom half, with little room to move. France could yet secure fourth place, but that’s as high as they can get. It’s a far cry from the side who used to dominate this competition, now they come into a meeting with Italy seeing it as a must win game, rather than just a requirement.

For the Italians, this is a final chance to avoid a pointless campaign. They sit bottom of the pile, having been restricted going forward and routinely thumped in every game. They’ll be looking to finish up with a shock win. That would still leave them bottom, but it would at least be an end to their painful wait for a success in the Six Nations. Can Italy cause a surprise on Saturday, or is their losing streak going to continue in this clash?

Top Tips

France -9.5 Point Handicap @ 1/1

Italy to Score First @ 6/5

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Italy News: Italians Facing Crunch Clash

Stadio Olimpico Before Italy Six Nations Game
Simone Ramella, flickr

Italy head into the weekend’s opening game aiming to end a dreadful run this term. Overall, the hosts have massively struggled this year, but there’s still plenty on the line for them on Saturday. Finishing with a win over France. Not only can they lift the Giuseppe Garibaldi trophy this weekend, but they could avoid major changes to the format of the championship.

Could this be First Relegation Decider?

We’ve never seen promotion or relegation in the Six Nations. Since Italy joined in 2000, there have been odd rumblings of big changes to the setup, to allow for the bottom side to face relegation. That’s not installed yet, but with major talks planned just after the championship ends, Italy are in theory fighting a battle against relegation. Claim a win here, and those talks will slowly fade away.

France News: French Need to up Their Game

France Versus Italy Rugby Match

Sitting in fifth place, this has been an awful campaign for the French. They enter this clash with the chance to win their second game of the tournament, but they still need to improve in order to do that.

Can the French Start Fast?

The visitors were poor in their clash with Ireland last week, conceding 89% of the possession in the first half. The opening 40 minutes between these two tends to be close, so the French can’t afford to be that lax when they step out in Rome this week.

Analysis: Favourites Out to Boost Morale

It’s hardly a surprise that the French are the favourites in Rome. They are priced at just 1/4 to pick up a victory here on Saturday. Meanwhile, Italy can be backed at 16/5 to claim a home win and end their awful form in top tier matches. The draw is priced at 28/1, as Les Bleus come here set for a victory. However, just how are they going to go about claiming that all-important win this weekend?

Italy Face France Hiding

The visitors may have struggled in the Six Nations, but they’ve been excellent against Italy over the years. They’ve won 15 of 17 visits to Rome, winning their last two visits by an average of 25.5 points. Having scored at least 20 points in every meeting with Italy since 1964, we can’t see the away side having any problems racking up a score in this trip. That should lead to another heavy defeat for Italy.

Comfortable Win for Les Blues

The one concern we have over France is their worrying lack of possession last weekend. Italy have scored first in two of the last three meetings between these two, including three of the last four in Rome. They will see France as a side they can capitalise on, so we expect a strong start. Italy to score first is our pick here at 6/5, as they should get points on the board early. On top of that, we’re backing a heavy win for the away side, given their great record in this fixture. We’re backing France with a -9.5 point handicap, which has been covered by every other Six Nations side against Italy this campaign. It’s evens for France to repeat the trick here.

Recent Matches

It’s no shock that France have the better record in head to head clashes with the Italians over the years. They’ve won 37 of their 40 meetings with Italy. The Italians claimed two of their three wins this decade, winning the Garabaldi trophy in 2011 and 2013. In recent years, it’s been all France.

23rd February 2018: France 34 – 17 Italy

Last year’s clash between these two sides saw them trade points in Paris, before the French took off in the second half. They took a four point lead in at half-time, and boosted it to run away with the game in the second period. It was a sixth win in a row for France over Italy.

11th March 2017: Italy 18 – 40 France

The French saw another second half rally when they last visited Rome. In 2017, they took 24 second half points to secure another heavy win, with the first half close once again. Italy only scored in the second half in the dying seconds of the game, which closed the gap to the visitors to 22 points.

6th February 2016: France 23 – 21 Italy

This clash in Paris was all about misses, as key moments in the game were passed up by either side. France took a two point lead into the break, before a tied second half saw them edge it. France dropped five points in the first half, but the Italians missed an 82nd minute drop goal which would have won the game.

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