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The Rugby World Cup 2023 hosts conclude their group-stage campaign needing just three points from their fixture versus Italy, at the stunning OL Stadium in Lyon, to ensure their safe passage into the quarter-finals.
Italy will be gracious to still have a chance at a quarter-final spot after their dismantling by New Zealand but will nonetheless hope that a monumental upset is on the cards.
France vs Italy match predictions
Italy haven’t beaten France since 2013, that’s one win in their last fourteen fixtures, however, World Cup’s are different beasts and anything is possible.
France to win with – 26 handicap @ 10/11 (1.90)
Italy are no joke of a team with a strong structure, tireless forwards and talented and threatening outside backs, however, it is hard to have seen how their defence simply gave up last week versus New Zealand, leaking a staggering 96 points and not say that France will score more than 26.
The French are one of the best in the world at scoring points, will the likes of Villiere, Penaud and Bielle-Barrey eager to add to their try scoring tallies and with a week’s rest under their belts, it is likely this match could get ugly for the Italians.
Louis Bielle-Barrey to score the first try @ 13/2 (7.50)
The 20-year-old phenom has been one of the stories of the tournament for Fabien Galthie and his team. Bielle-Barrey was supposed to be winning a under-20 World Cup with his former age-grade teammates this summer, however, Galthie told him not to go so he could mix it up with the big boys and the Bordeaux winger has more than re-paid his decision.
The electric winger scored versus Uruguay and scored twice versus Namibia to take his tally to four tries in five international caps, a strike-rate of 0.8 tries per game. LBB is a safe bet for the first five-pointer.
France vs Italy preview – four horse race crescendo in Pool A
Few would have predicted that, entering the final matches of the pool-stage, that four teams could still escape from Pool A, however, as it stands, France will have to play until the very final whistle to finally confirm their place at the top of the pool.
Les Bleus have been near-faultless thus far at their home Rugby World Cup. They showed resilience and fight to come back and beat New Zealand on opening night before doing the same versus Uruguay in an unexpectedly tight affair, perhaps their only hiccup. The low in their tournament came in round three versus Namibia when a 96-0 win turned sour at the sight of the injured Antoine Dupont, ‘le petit generale’ exited with a broken jaw.
Dupont is hoping to return for the semi-finals but the loss is a huge blow to France’s ambitions of winning their first ever Rugby World Cup. Before they have to worry about that, however, France have a job to do against Italy, where a win of any kind and a even draw with a try bonus point will be enough to top the group. On the other hand, a shock loss to the Italians with New Zealand beating Uruguay would mean France crash out of their home Rugby Rugby World Cup in spectacular style.
Italy have had a World Cup of ups-and-downs. They swept aside Namibia with ease in round one before coolly dispatching a strong Uruguay team who many thought would cause them more problems. Their 96-17 loss to New Zealand was both demoralising and wholly unexpected with Italy in good form and even starting the game strongly.
The question now is whether Italy can bounce back and show how good they can really be versus France, with a potential place in the quarter-finals up for grabs, or whether that loss has ended their Rugby World Cup and they can’t recover.
France vs Italy match details
- Date and Time: Friday 6th October, 20:00 GMT
- Venue: OL Stadium, Lyon
- How to Watch: See Here
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