Scotland are chasing their first win on French soil since 1999 against a French team that were outplayed 44-8 by England in round two. The Scots may have been downed 22-13 by the Irish in round two, however they did show their class and ability to mix it up with the big guns. The unpredictable French are more than capable of turning it on, as seen in the first half in their opening Six Nations encounter with Wales and the visitors will have to be at their creative best if they are to register just a fourth win over the hosts in 20-years. Form Labs breaks down the action with their betting preview and tips and don’t forget to check out our Six Nations value with our selection of enhanced odds.
France Demolished By England
Les Bleus suffered their biggest ever defeat against England in the Six Nations a fortnight ago. The Red Roses peppered their backfield with kicks throughout the 80 minutes as they ran out 44-8 winners, leaving Jacques Brunel with some serious questions to be answered.
Fortunately, they return to the Stade de France where they have proven much more competitive under Brunel, with three wins from their seven matches over Italy, England and Argentina, while each of their defeats came by the slimmest of margins to all of Ireland (2), South Africa (3), Fiji (7) and Wales (5).
Scotland Competitive Against Ireland
Gregor Townsend’s men proved very competitive when hosting the current Grand Slam champions Ireland in round two. Such was their dominance in the first 40 that 60% of the game was played in the Irish half, yet they still went in at the break behind.
However, even then you felt they had a chance of a comeback with no Jonny Sexton on the field, but thanks to a host of handling errors their fate was sealed with just three points to their name in the second half.
France v Scotland Head-To-Head
A worry for Scotland will be their head-to-head record in this encounter since 2000. Indeed, they have lost 18 of 21 matches, but they have been very tight in recent years, with the biggest winning margin being 13 points across the last 11, while nine were within 10 points of each other.
Two of the Scots victories have actually come in the last three meetings, but they they were both at Murrayfield and the last time they won in France was back in 1999.
Hogg And Russel Out
Furthermore, Townsend’s squad are severely hampered by some key injuries this weekend. They are devoid of their matching winning, world-class world class talents Finn Russel and Stuart Hogg, while their backline is further diminished by Huw Jones’ absence.
Peter Horne, Blair Kinghorn and Nick Grigg are decent players, but the visitors are losing much of the identity that has made them one of the more exciting teams in the world to watch over the last few years.
Meanwhile, France opt for youth with a halfback combination of Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack, while Yoann Huget following his woeful performance positioning wise moves back to the wing with Thomas Ramos slotting in at full-back.
France v Scotland Betting Tips
Excluding Italy, Scotland have lost a staggering 36 of their 38 matches on the road in the Six Nations this century.
Their only two wins came against Ireland in 2010 and Wales in 2002 and with their injury problems they’re unlikely to add to that tally.
So, despite their abject performance at Twickenham, France are worthy favourites back on home soil and having shown glimpses of what they are capable of in the first half against the Welsh in round one, we expect them to get the job done this time around
France v Scotland Teams
France: 15 Thomas Ramos, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Gaël Fickou, 11 Yoann Huget, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Arthur Iturria, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Félix Lambey, 4 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 3 Demba Bamba, 2 Guilhem Guirado (c), 1 Jefferson Poirot
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Paul Willemse, 20 Gregory Alldritt, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Anthony Belleau, 23 Maxime Medard
Scotland: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Pete Horne, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Simon Berghan, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Allan Dell
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Ben Toolis, 20 Gary Graham, 21 Ali Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Darcy Graham
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