France v Ireland Preview: Irish face biggest test in 2022 Six Nations
France v Ireland
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Six Nations: France v Ireland Match Preview
Live coverage on Virgin Media at 4:45pm
Live coverage on ITV1 at 4:45pm
France and Ireland collide on Saturday evening in a match which could prove pivotal in determining where the 2022 Six Nations Championship trophy ends up next month.
Ireland’s winning run was extended to nine games when they brushed aside Wales to the tune of 29-7 in their 2022 Six Nations opener on Saturday afternoon and France also enjoyed a perfect start when beating Italy 37-10 in Paris just 24 hours later.
While the Irish were undeniably impressive in their win over the defending Six Nations champions, they will know only too well that they will need to be at their very best across all areas in the French capital this weekend. France too will need to be in the best of fettle for this clash and much depends on which team shows the greatest improvement here.
In fairness, Ireland looked far more than 22 points better than Wales last weekend and while it perhaps wasn’t a perfect performance from the home side in Dublin, there was plenty to admire along the way. The accuracy of the Irish attack meant that Wales’ defence was torn to shreds and the visitors looked all at sea for much of the contest.
Ireland will be more than happy with this excellent start although there’s no doubt that there’s plenty more in this side. Indeed their meeting with Wales could have been far more one-sided and the match could have been out of reach for the visitors by half-time.
France will almost certainly adopt a physical approach on Saturday evening as they look to stop the Irish in their tracks and this could prompt Farrell to adopt a change in team selection for this match, Iain Henderson likely to be slotted into the front five in order to provide the visitors with more ballast.
Either way, this looks set to be a very tight encounter between the two tournament favourites and a single moment in this encounter may make the difference between two evenly-matched sides.
As far as the betting is concerned, France are odds-on favourites to secure the win on home soil at general odds of 4/7. This is hard to argue with given the quality of the French side right now, however Ireland are a force to be reckoned with and this should prove to be an extremely tight encounter.
The Irish are a 7/5 shot to pull something out of the bag and take the maximum points haul here, however as far as we’re concerned the best approach is to avoid the outright market and look at winning margins. We wouldn’t be surprised by either side winning here, however a closely-fought encounter looks set to be the order of the day and with that in mind, we’ll be hedging our bets and going for each side to win by a margin of 1-5.
France v Ireland Winning Margin best Odds
11/2 – France 1-5
11/2 – Ireland 1-5