The Six Nations takes centre stage this weekend with the final round of matches coming up but we also have the FA Cup Quarter-Finals to think about too! Let’s check out what bets stand out from this highly anticipated sporting action.
Italy v France, Six Nations, Stadio Olimpico
12:30pm, Saturday 16 March
Up first in the Six Nations finale is a dead rubber match between Italy and France. Well, we say dead rubber but there is a fair amount at stake for both teams in this game. Italy will want to avoid another tournament white wash that defeat would bring. France simply want to avoid the ignominy of finishing 5th in the table.
Italy will give Treviso centre Marco Zanon his debut in Saturday’s match. He is one of five changes from the side that received a pasting by England last weekend. France will make six changes to their team from last week’s loss to Ireland with Wesley Fofana included in the squad for his farewell appearance before he retires from international rugby.
At the start of the tournament, predicting anything other than a France win would have seemed almost blasphemous. It’s not been a Six Nations to remember for Jacques Brunel and his players.
We’re still confident they’ll end with a victory. Italy have beaten France twice at home in recent years with victories in 2011 and 2013 but France have dominated on their two previous visits to Rome. We can see that form carrying on so we’re backing them to win by at least 11 points.
France -10 @ 2.00 with Betfair
France to be Winning at HT and FT @ 1.67 with William Hill
Wales v Ireland, Six Nations, Principality Stadium
2:45pm, Saturday 16 March
Three things are stereotypically considered when it comes to the Welsh. They can sing, they can drink, and they love their rugby. It’s no surprise, then, that the entire country of Wales is twitching with excitement at the prospect of a first Grand Slam since 2012.
Liam Williams has been declared fit to play in this game as Wales name an unchanged side from the one that held on to beat a defiant Scotland last weekend. Ireland’s Tadgh Beirne will make his Six Nations debut for his country.
Ireland could still retain their Six Nations title here if they win and Scotland can avoid defeat against England. It’s a tall order but it gives the Irish something to fight for. Ireland have lost on their last two Six Nations visits to Cardiff but did win the last encounter in their 2018 triumph.
We think Wales will sneak this. As Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “this group of players have forgotten how to lose”. It seems like fate that it’s their Six Nations to win.
Wales to Win @ 1.80 with Paddy Power
Anytime Try Scorer: Josh Adams @ 3.40 with Betfair
England v Scotland, Six Nations, Twickenham
5pm, Saturday 16 March
As a stand-alone match, this contest between England and Scotland will be absorbing in its own right. If Ireland secure a win against Wales in the earlier kick-off then a whole new dimension of drama and tension could be added to proceedings for this Calcutta Cup game.
England can win the Six Nations title if Ireland prevent Wales from winning and Eddie Jones can inspire his side to a victory here. They face a Scotland side that actually hold the Calcutta Cup after their shock win over England last year. Scotland are playing for pride with the wooden spoon now no longer a concern and a low-key battle for 4th with France their only target.
The English have stormed to victory in their games with Ireland, France, and Italy. The loss to Wales was a seemingly a hiccup. A potentially costly one at that. We can’t see them losing this game. Scotland have been stubborn in this tournament but have failed to reach the performance levels expected.
We’re backing a win by at least 19 points and England to pick up a bonus point in the process.
England -18 @ 2.00 with Betfair
First Try Scorer: Jonny May @ 6.50 with William Hill
Wolves v Manchester United, FA Cup, Molineux Stadium
7:55pm, Sunday 17 March
The FA Cup reaches the Quarter-Final stage. In this game, we have two Premier League teams that will feel they have a genuine chance of winning the competition now they have made it down to the last eight. Victory here would guarantee a trip to Wembley for the Semi-Finals.
Wolves caused a huge shock in the 3rd Round by knocking out title challengers Liverpool. Nuno Santo’s side have earned a reputation for getting results against the so-called bigger sides having already taken points off the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, and even United themselves.
Manchester United have re-discovered their swagger under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Red Devils manager suffered his first away defeat as the club’s interim manager last weekend against Arsenal. That result came just days after one of the club’s great European nights coming back from two goals down to beat PSG away in the Champions League.
This is a tough one to call but we think United could sneak the win here.
Wolves relish playing teams that come at them but United’s loss to Arsenal is probably the worst thing that could have happened for Wolves. We expected United to bounce back with a win.
Manchester United to Win @ 2.30 with Betway
Both Teams to Score @ 1.80 with Betfred