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Ireland – France

Ireland France Six Nations betting preview

Ireland will need a win against France on Sunday, in Round 4 of the 2019 Six Nations, if they are to stay in contention for the title until the final weekend of the competition.

The Irish have been a bit underwhelming so far in this tournament. Coming after a stellar 2018, they were expected to repeat as Six Nations Champions this year, but they had the worst start possible – a 20-32 home loss to England, a match in which they were clearly outplayed. Ireland followed that defeat with wins against Scotland (by 9) and Italy (by 10), both away. However, the performances weren`t that impressive – particularly in the match against Italy in Rome, one in which Ireland was really, really weak.

France started the tournament awfully, blowing a 16 point first half lead to lose at home against Wales, and then suffering an embarrassing 8-44 defeat in England. Facing massive criticism, the French saved some honor in the previous round, when they played well to defeat Scotland 27-10 in Paris. But it must be said that the Scots were missing half a dozen of their best players in that match, so the French were always expected to win.

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Team news & lineups:

Ireland will make 7 changes to the lineup which disappointed in Italy. Key players come back in the starting XV, and Ireland will also be buoyed by the fact that Stander and Ringrose return from injuries. Sean O’Brien has been surprisingly left out of the squad.

France does not have new injuries and will field the same lineup which beat Scotland – a very unusual thing for France, which always changes things up on a game by game basis.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Cian Healy

France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Felix Lambey, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson Poirot

Ireland needs a victory to maintain (slim) hopes of winning the title next week. A bonus point win would be nice and Ireland surely wouldn`t mind it, but it`s not mandatory – it would only make a difference if England draws with Scotland next week.

Ireland is a desirving favorite here, and should be able to win the game. The 12 point handicap set by the bookies might be a bit too high though, and that is mostly because of the matchup between these two sides.

Ireland always had a tough time against France, and they usually struggled even when they were expected to win big. The Irish did win 5 of the last 6 H2H meetings, but not without sweat. Ireland defeated France by more than 10 points only once since 1975!!!! That`s once in the last 49 matches, and it was a 15 point victory in the 2015 World Cup, so still not a blowout.

Matches between Ireland and France have always been tight, and usually low scoring, especially lately. The points total line for this match is set at 44,5 points, and the last 8 H2H meetings all finished under this total. That may well be the case again today.

Neither team has really clicked offensively in this tournament, with both sides struggling to get the offensive machine working. Ireland put up 20 points against England, 22 against Scotland and was barely able to put 26 past Italy! France put up 19 points against Wales, 8 against England, and 27 against a decimated Scottish side (courtesy of a try in the 80+8`th minute!).

The playing conditions could also impact a low scoring game, as the weather is expected to be awful. It seems like it will not rain at game time, but it will be raining in patches for a long time until Sunday afternoon, so it will be humid. There will also be pretty strong winds of around 40km/h according to weather reports. Overall, unpleasant conditions are expected.

The humidity is likely to force handling errors and knock ons, which will result in scrums, always a time waster in rugby. The wind might make converting penalties a bit more difficult than usual, so there could be a few points left on the table.

The last 8 H2H meetings finished with 34, 26, 42, 29, 33, 19, 28 and 28 points. Taking into account the weather and how these two sides played this year, I don`t see why we should expect more than 44 points to be scored this Sunday.

My tip will be under 44,5 points to be scored. Prediction: Ireland – France 24 – 13.

Pick: under 44,5 points
Odds: 1.96 @ Unibet
Stake: 8
Possible profit: 7.68
Event date: 10 March

About Rostick

Former bookie & water polo player. Rugby Union expert. - EDITOR INFO & STATS
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