France vs Italy Prediction and Betting Tips
🏈 Rugby World Cup 2023 Match Preview
⏰ 6 October 2023 - 20:00 GMT +1
⏰ 7 October 2023 - 05:00 AEST
🏟 Stadium - Parc Olympique Lyonnais (Lyon)
After two brutal yet victorious matches to kick off their 2023 Rugby World Cup (RWC) campaign with respective wins over New Zealand (27-13) and Uruguay (27-12) to prove their mettle, host nation France finally displayed their famous French flair last time out when demolishing lowly Namibia 96-0. They will now look to close out their Pool A campaign with a clean sweep at this stage when taking on Italy. There’s a lot more riding on this game than they’d like, since France must avoid defeat to ensure progression from the pool stages, unless they make use of a get-out-of-jail-free card whereby they could secure two losing bonus points without Italy claiming a winning bonus point to book their place in the next round.
Despite those possibilities, the odds that their lack of bonus points against New Zealand and Uruguay come back to haunt them and in turn ruin their record of always advancing to the RWC knockout stages, seems unlikely for a number of reasons. Firstly, Les Bleus have now won 23 of their previous 25 matches (L2), and boast an even more impressive record at home, having won each of their last 17 games on French soil. The Parc Olympique Lyonnais faithful will therefore be expecting their side to rack up number 18 at home, especially since they’ve been victorious in each of their last 13 head-to-heads against Six Nation rivals Italy, a run that includes a 32-10 RWC win over them in the pool stages of the 2015 RWC.
Coach Fabien Galthié has left nothing to chance, naming nearly a full-strength team off the back of the injury to captain Antoine Dupont against Namibia. Maxime Lucu has been brought in at scrum half to replace his captain, and he’ll partner up with Bordeaux clubmate in fly half Matthieu Jalibert. The rest of the backline remains unchanged from their last game, as does the tight-five upfront. There is a change in the back row, where Gregory Alldritt comes in to start at eighth man, shifting Anthony Jelonch into blindside flank, and stand-in captain Charles Ollivon to the openside.
Italy will be the latest team to attempt to knock the French off their perch, in a game where the stakes have never been higher, since an unlikely win will secure their place in the knockout stages for the first time in their history, despite having featured in every RWC. Their 96-17 demolition at the hands of New Zealand in their last game has many people writing them off before kickoff here, but the Azzurri will be out to prove that was an abomination and that they have the quality to beat any team in the world on their day.
The Italians have been there or thereabouts even if the result hasn’t gone their way, as prior to the New Zealand game, they had covered the pre-match handicap in ten of their 11 games this year. A fast start seems a must for Italy if they’re going to pull off the impossible, since the winner of each of their last 17 matches has also scored the first try of the game. Coach Kieran Crowley will be demanding his team are first out of the blocks, or else this could very well be his last game in charge, since it was previously announced that his contract will not be getting renewed after this RWC.
Crowley’s potential final Italian team announcement featured five changes to his previous starting XV, headlined by first RWC starts being handed to hooker Hame Faiva and tighthead prop Pietro Ceccarelli who make up a brand new front row with loosehead Simone Ferrari, while the last change in the forwards sees Niccolò Cannone come into the second row. The backline sees Ange Capuozzo move from wing to fullback, meaning the influential Tommaso Allan returns to his familiar position of fullback, Paolo Garbisi therefore shifts to centre, and the last change sees Pierre Bruno take up residence on the vacant wing.
📋 Players to watch:
- France’s ever-dangerous Damian Penaud is on a frightening six-game try scoring streak, and with 33 international tries to his name, could be lining up Vincent Clerc’s title as France’s second-highest ever try scorer with just one more than Penaud.
- As for Italy, they’ll most likely need the boot of Tommaso Allan to help them pull off the upset, which has been perfect up to now with him slotting all 15 kicks for goal he’s attempted.
⚡ Match Facts:
- France's last 17 home matches: 17 Wins
- Head-to-head record: France 13 Wins, Italy 0 Wins
- France points scored: 96
- Italy points scored: 59
- France points conceded: 25
- Italy points conceded: 113
- Penaud has scored in 6 straight tests for France
💡 Match Prediction:
France are heavy favorites, having won their last 17 home matches and 13 straight against Italy. They have a very strong team and will be highly motivated to top the group.
Italy have never made it out of the pool stage at a Rugby World Cup. They were thrashed by New Zealand 96-17 in their last match and will need to produce something special to challenge France.
France have scored 96 points and conceded just 25 in their first 3 matches. Italy have scored 59 points and conceded 113. This points to a one-sided match in favor of France.
- France to win comfortably by 20+ points
- France -22 handicap
- Over 50 total match points
- France to win by 13+ points @ 1.40
- France -22 handicap @ 1.90
- Over 50 total points @ 1.85
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