Kick-off: 1500, 02/02/2020
Stadium: Stade de France
It feels as though French rugby has been in the doldrums for some time now but Les Bleus have managed to maintain a good home record against England.
They have won three of the last four head-to-head encounters in Paris and will be fired up for the first round of fixtures in this year’s Six Nations.
Punters can get 3/2 for the hosts to oblige on Sunday and that is tempting enough to be our initial France vs England prediction.
A Look At France’s Betting Odds
France were again very much a Jekyll and Hyde outfit in this event last term, with a 44-8 drubbing by England at Twickenham the low point.
Throwing away a 16-0 lead when hosting eventual Grand Slam winners Wales first up also hurt, but there were victories over Scotland and Italy.
Les Bleus came out of the World Cup with some credit, though, finishing second behind England in Pool C after Typhoon Hagibis robbed them of the chance to face the table toppers.
France then looked poised to upset Wales in the quarter-finals until having Sebastien Vahaamahina sent off and conceding a try in the 74th minute of a 20-19 defeat.
Jacques Brunel moved on, as planned, leaving former captain Fabien Galthie to take charge and he pulled off an early coup by persuading Shaun Edwards to join him as defence coach.
Edwards was a key part of the success Wales have enjoyed in recent times and will hope to improve France’s notoriously fickle discipline.
If they can clean up that side of the game, Les Bleus do have plenty of talented individuals ready to shine, as highlighted by Toulouse, Clermont and Racing 92 all doing well in Europe this term.
Looking at the France vs England odds, we reckon 12/5 for the hosts to oblige by 1-12 points is another value option.
A Look At England’s Betting Odds
England showed flashes of brilliance in last year’s Six Nations, starting out with a comprehensive 32-20 victory over Ireland in Dublin.
France and Italy were thrashed in impressive fashion, but late collapses saw them lose 21-13 away to Wales and draw 38-38 with Scotland at Twickenham after leading 31-0.
The World Cup campaign was so nearly perfect, as big wins over Argentina, Australia and New Zealand saw them power into the final.
However, everything went wrong on the big day, with Eddie Jones’ side being battered into submission by South Africa when beaten 32-12.
Defence coach John Mitchell is confident England can recover from that heartbreak in Yokohama.
“There’s a lot more to come from us,” he declared. “We’re looking for little gains and to build a side that can cope with anything chucked at it.
“The game is demanding a lot of change very quickly, so it’s about our ability to adapt to those situations quickly.”
We just fear Jones may revert to his frustrating habit of tinkering too much with tactics and team selection, though, now that a new cycle has begun.
Let’s finish off our France vs England betting tips by taking 91/100 for Les Bleus with four points start.
Wales 20-19 FRANCE
ENGLAND 12-32 South Africa
Head-to-head: England 44-8 France, France 22-16 England, England 19-16 France, France 21-31 England, France 25-20 England
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