2020 Six Nations Championship – France vs Italy Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is France vs Italy taking place? Sunday 9th February, 15:00

Where is France vs Italy taking place? Stade de France

What is the expected weather for France vs Italy? 11c with showers expected

What channel is France vs Italy on? BBC 1

Where can I stream France vs Italy? France vs Italy can be streamed via BBC iPlayer

Where can I get tickets for France vs Italy? Fans seeking tickets should visit the ticket section of the official rugby union website for each nation

What was the outcome in the last meeting? France 47-19 Italy

THE TEAM NEWS

FRANCE

  • France sent a big message to the rest of the teams in the Six Nations as they put in a brutal display to upset England and the French will believe they can win the title if they can maintain that level of performance.
  • Fabien Galthie named a youthful side and that exuberance proved too much for England who were completely outplayed with France able to rack up a 17-point lead at the break as they became the first team to nil England at half-time in 32 years.
  • After chopping and changing their half-backs during the Rugby World Cup, France may have finally found the right pairing after Antoine Dupont and Romain Natamack controlled the game for the French and they will have a key role to play moving forward with their side featuring just one enforced change from last week's brilliant win as centre Virimi Vakatawa is ruled out with an injury to his triceps and he has been replaced by Arthur Vincent.

ITALY

  • Italy’s preparations for the Six Nations did not go to plan with them losing their head coach and their interim boss Franco Smith was powerless to prevent a one-sided display as his side were hammered by Wales.
  • The Azzurri were unable to score a single point against the Welsh in a very disappointing display in which they conceded 42 points and they have plenty of work to do if they are to avoid another embarrassing loss this weekend.
  • Following such a big defeat, Italy have made some changes to their side as expected with Matteo Minozzi switching to the left wing to accommodate Jayden Hayward's inclusion at fullback and that sees Mattia Bellini switch to the right wing after he featured on the opposite side last week but those changes are unlikely to prevent the Italians from being on the end of another one-sided scoreline.

KEY STATS

  • France have won 18 of the previous 20 Six Nations matches between the two nations.
  • France have won each of their previous 10 home matches against Italy in the Six Nations.
  • France have been winning at HT in 19 of their previous 20 Six Nations matches against Italy.
  • France have been winning at HT by a margin of less than five points or less in each of the last four Six Nations matches between the two nations.
  • Italy have lost each of their last 23 Six Nations matches.
  • Italy have scored an average of 14 points per game in their last 20 Six Nations matches.
  • Italy have lost by a margin of at least 42 points in each of their last two away matches in the Six Nations.

THE PREDICTION

France put in the performance of the weekend in the opening round of matches of the 2020 Six Nations. They went into the game against England as underdogs but were far too good for their opponents as their powerful side dominated physically. That laid down a big marker for the rest of the tournament and they shape as likely winners of the tournament if they perform like that throughout. They now host Italy who were nilled by Wales last week and this looks like being another big loss for the Italians with France able to cover -26.

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