Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Guinness 6 Nations: Italy v France preview

Guinness 6 Nations: Italy v France preview

Darry Worthington previews the 2021 Guinness 6 Nations opener that will see neighbours France and Italy lock horns on Saturday the 6th of February. 

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The 6 Nations gets underway this coming weekend and the tournament opener will see last year's wooden spoonists, Italy, tackle last year's runners-up, France. 

The visitors come into this one as hot favourites with the 'books and there's a massive handicap on this one. It will be rather interesting to see if this French side, that is without a couple of stars, can clear the handicap against the competitions whipping boys or if Italy will give them a real test first up. 

Italy v France
Saturday 6 February
Stadio Olimpico

To Win (80 Mins)
Italy: 9/1
Draw: 33/1
France: 5/100

Handicap (Betting to be added on release)
Italy :
France :

The Azzuri will be looking for their first 6 Nations win in more than half a decade when they take on a weakened but still very dangerous French side. 

Franco Smith's men had an extremely tough time of it last year as they lost all five of their 6 Nations games and finished the tournament with a points differential of -134. They actually managed a respectable result against the French last year, however, as they were only beaten 35-22, which was pretty good considering they were hammered 42-0 by Wales, 50-17 by Ireland and 5-34 by England. 

Italy will be up against it this coming weekend as the French are a much-improved unit. There are a few positives for Franco Smith's men, though, as he's got some decent young players coming through the ranks and Monty Ioane, who is the nephew of former Wallaby Digby, qualified to play for the Azurri late last year and he'll add some much-needed guile to the Italian back division. 

Le Bleu will be looking for a bonus-point win and a very fast start to their 6 Nations campaign. They came oh so close to winning last year's 6 Nations with a defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield costing them the crown. 

While the French will be disappointed to have missed out on winning last year's tournament, they have been able to take away some huge positives from it. Firstly, they managed to beat the English who they have struggled against in the recent past. They also showed they have a deep playing pool to choose from with a number of fringe players doing an admirable job when stepping in for an injured first stringer. 

As touched on earlier, the French will be without quite a few of their heavy hitters with Virimi Vakatawa, Camille Chat and Thomas Ramos all ruled out through injury. 

Verdict: Italy (+) 
I reckon the Italians will put up a fight here. The French are by far the classier side but Italy generally give teams more of a fight when they are at the Stadio Olimpico. My money is on the hosts staying within the handicap this Saturday. 

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

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