France to leave their Marc on Scotland
France will look to bounce back in emphatic fashion in the second round of Six Nations matches following their defeat away to Ireland last week. Odds of 1/10 for a win prove how well fancied Les bleus are for victory.
Coach Marc Lievremont has made a number of changes following the 30-21 loss at Croke Park. Most notably in the back-line the young Julien Malzieu has been dropped to the bench and replaced by the experienced Toulouse winger Cedric Heymans.
Centre Florian Fritz is suspended after punching Irish flanker Stephen Ferris last week. In his place is Benoit Baby who is set to win just his third cap.
Sale’s Sebastien Chabal has dropped down to the bench with Toulouse lock Romain Millo-Chluski his replacement. Lievremont has also changed both of his props.
The French coach clearly means business and wants an impressive display against Frank Hadden’s Scotland side to get back in the hunt for Six Nations glory.
France were good in spells at Croke Park but at times their inexperience told and quite how the team would react in front of an impatient Stade de France crowd if Scotland were to take a shock lead is anybody’s guess.
Nevertheless over the 80 minutes France should have enough to beat a very limited Scotland side in convincing style.
On the main handicap line Scotland are given a 15 point start with both teams available at 10/11 and even this probably won’t be enough for Scotland.
Last week Scotland were beaten 26-13 to Wales at Murrayfield, so if the French are on song and backed by the vocal home support then a winning margin of 15 points plus looks likely.
A win for France by 16-20 points at 9/2 looks extremely tempting.
Recent form is certainly on France’s side as they have not lost to Scotland at home since 1999. The last time the two sides met in Paris, in 2007 Six Nations, the home side ran out 46-19 winners.
Scotland have yet again left kicker Chris Paterson on the bench, but the main headline regarding Frank Hadden’s team selection is the Evans brothers, with both winger Thom and centre Max chosen to start in the Stade de France.
Thom Evans has scored nine tries in 14 matches for Glasgow Warriors this season and was surprisingly left out of the team to face Wales given Scotland’s lack of try scoring ability in their back-line. He is available at 16/1 to score the first try of the match and 3/1 to score within the 80 minutes.
The 3/1 looks a bit of value and if he gets a chance the Glasgow flier will no doubt take it.
For France, wingers Maxime Medard and Cedric Heymans share favouritism at 8/1 to score first and at 11/10 to score at anytime. But it is centre Yannick Jauzion who looks the value at 15/8 to go over the line.
The second weekend of Six Nations action promises to be as exciting as ever and you can catch all the action live on BBC with this weekend opener kicking off at 15:00. Don’t forget that once the action starts the betting doesn’t stop as we will have a range of markets to bet on throughout the 80 minutes with our betlive service.
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