2021 Six Nations Championship – Scotland vs Italy Preview & Prediction

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THE FACTS

When is Scotland vs Italy taking place? Saturday 20th March, 2021 – 14:15

Where is Scotland vs Italy taking place? Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

Where can I get tickets for Scotland vs Italy? Visit this link for ticket information

What channel is Scotland vs Italy on? BBC

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

THE TEAM NEWS

SCOTLAND

  • Scotland were offensively brilliant at times in their gut-wrenching 24-27 defeat to Ireland at Murrayfield last Sunday but ultimately made too many defensive mistakes to lose by the odd penalty.
  • It all looked so promising for head coach Gregor Townsend when he masterminded an opening-weekend victory at Twickenham, their first in 38 years, but Scotland have failed to win in the tournament since.
  • Townsend has rung the changes for what should be a comfortable home game here as captain Stuart Hogg starts at fly-half for the first time to make way for a first start from Scott Steele, with David Cherry also making his first starting appearance.

Scotland: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Darcy Graham, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Stuart Hogg (c), 9 Scott Steele, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Sam Skinner, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 David Cherry, 1 Rory Sutherland

Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Alex Craig, 20 Nick Haining, 21 Ali Price, 22 Jaco van der Walt, 23 Chris Harris

ITALY

  • Italy were humiliated at home by a rampant Wales outfit, conceding seven tries in a 7-48 thrashing that will again bring unwelcome questions of a relegation position in the Six Nations Championship to the table.
  • The Azzurri will be desperate to cause the upset of the championship with victory away to Scotland, who were the last team they managed to beat in the Six Nations way back in 2015 - also at Murrayfield on the last day of the season.
  • Head coach Franco Smith could barely look at his team's performance last Saturday and makes four changes for the trip to Scotland with Edoardo Padovani, Federico Mori, Marco Riccioni and Federico Ruzza coming in to start.

Italy: 15 Edoardo Padovani, 14 Mattia Bellini, 13 Juan Ignacio Brex, 12 Federico Mori, 11 Montanna Ioane, 10 Paolo Garbisi, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Michele Lamaro, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Federico Ruzza, 4 Niccolò Cannone, 3 Marco Riccioni, 2 Luca Bigi, 1 Danilo Fischetti

Replacements: 16 Gianmarco Lucchesi, 17 Andrea Lovotti, 18 Giosuè Zilocchi, 19 Riccardo Favretto, 20 Maxime Mbanda, 21 Marcello Violi, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Marco Zanon.

THE PREDICTION

Scotland will be pleased with a home fixture against Italy here as an away trip in these times is not an easy one at all and anything other than a comfortable victory would be a shock here. Travelling Italy did win their last Six Nations match against Scotland, back in 2015, and here at Murrayfield but the current crop of Scots are a more reliable team than their predecessors. With an unusual game in-hand over teams above them at this stage of the Six Nations Championship, they have plenty more than pride to play for on this not-quite final day of the tournament. Italy have sparkled in fits and bursts through most of their matches but a thrashing by Wales last week was their worst performance of the campaign. The Azzurri should be able to snatch a try or two here but Scotland can let the shackles off and cover -28 at home to kick off Saturday’s action.

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