Odds: France 11/5, Draw 25/1, England 37/100
Kick Off: 1545, 10/03/2018
Stadium: Stade de France
TV: BBC One
England’s hopes of completing a hat-trick of Six Nations titles were severely dented by defeat to Scotland and they face another tough test when visiting France.
Eddie Jones’ side can be backed at 3/1 to top the table heading into this game, but we fear they could easily come unstuck again in Paris.
A Look At France’s Betting Odds
The hosts came within seconds of upsetting Ireland in their opening fixture and were the better team for long periods when losing 32-26 away to Scotland.
A 34-17 triumph over Italy in Marseille may not be as emphatic as other teams will manage against the Azzurri, but Les Bleus created enough chances to have doubled their advantage.
France have replaced Lionel Beauxis with the more experienced Francois Trinh-Duc at fly-half in the only adjustment to the matchday 23 selected for that victory.
Giant Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud continues at outside centre in a team led by hooker Guilhem Guirado.
France were only edged out 19-16 when taking on England at Twickenham 12 months ago and have claimed three wins from five meetings at the Stade de France over the past decade.
One of their two defeats at this venue was by just two points, so 4/5 for the hosts with 7.5 start here stands out from the France vs England odds.
A Look At England’s Betting Odds
After easing to victory over Italy, England were far from convincing when beating Wales 12-6, benefitting from a crucial TMO decision that robbed the Dragons of a try.
It would be fair to say that they did not get the rub of the green at key moments when losing 25-13 to Scotland in Edinburgh, but lacking a cutting edge in attack for the second straight game was worrying.
The way in which Scotland dominated the breakdown was another major cause for concern and England can expect more penalties against them in Paris if failing to address that problem.
“We lacked intensity and we’ve got to find out why,” commented Jones. “We got beaten at the breakdown and we’ve got to find out why. We lacked proper spacing in defence and we’ve got to find out why.
“We allowed the game to disappoint us at times and there are some good lessons. We are trying to develop a strong team but the occasion was too big for us. Scotland were too good for us.”
Dylan Hartley has been ruled out for England with a tight calf, leaving Owen Farrell to captain his country for the first time.
In the most radical team selection of the Jones era, Mike Brown has been dropped at full-back in favour of Anthony Watson, who shifts across from the wing to create a vacancy that is filled by Elliot Daly.
The power of Ben Te’o is preferred at outside centre, resulting in Jonathan Joseph dropping to a much-changed bench.
Kyle Sinckler is back as tighthead prop cover – Harry Williams has been struggling with a neck problem – and is joined among the replacements by James Haskell and Sam Simmonds.
Another hostile reception awaits at the Stade de France and 2/1 for the first scoring play to be a penalty kick by Les Bleus completes our France vs England betting tips.
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Best bets for France vs England