France are odds on favourites for their live Six Nations clash with Ireland on Saturday evening as they look to reinforce their title credentials. They eased to an opening win against Italy and are 1/5 on to beat Ireland at Stade Francais, while Ireland are 7/2 with Paddy Power as they bid to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Wales.
The Irish have an awful recent record against the French and that will be a huge worry ahead of this weekend's match. France have won 11 of the last 12 France v Ireland meetings in all competitions and they are unbeaten in their last five against Ireland on home soil.
The World Cup finalists are set to make four changes from the side that beat Italy 30-12 last weekend as Imanol Harinordoquy, Yoann Maestri, Dimitri Szarzewski and Jean-Baptiste Poux all come into the starting lineup.
It is the tried and trusted who head the first tryscorer odds though as the brilliant Vincent Clerc is 8/1 favourite to score the first try. Clerc is the joint leading tryscorer in matches with Ireland, along with Brian O'Driscoll, thanks to his eight tries against them and he could be worth backing.
Ireland head into the match on the back of their heartbreaking 23-21 loss to Wales last weekend, where they were victims of a stunning Welsh comeback. Leigh Halfpenny's late penalty won it for Wales and it looks a big ask for Ireland to pick themselves up from that defeat.
We expect them to look to come out of the blocks quickly again though and they can be backed at 6/5 to score first on Saturday. The bookmakers appear to be underestimating the quality in this Irish side and are perhaps overestimating the ability in the French outfit as PaddyPower.com offer Ireland at a tempting 10/11 with a handicap of +10 points.
Ireland look good value in the handicap and they received some good news in the week when Stephen Ferris escaped a ban after being cited against Wales. Keith Earls also returns to the squad and he could be worth backing to be first tryscorer at 18/1 as he scored five tries in his final three matches at the World Cup in the autumn. Meanwhile, Tommy Bowe is 11/1 to score the first try, with Paddy Power offering 1/4 the odds for each-way bets on the first, second and third tryscorers.
After last weekend's defeat it is tough to see Ireland winning this one and France can be backed to win by a margin of 1-12 points at 6/4. The two teams met in August, with France winning through on both occasions by seven points and four points respectively, and the France win by 6-10 points looks a decent punt at 4/1 with PaddyPower.
Defeat on Saturday would all but end Ireland's Six Nations hopes and it would leave them with plenty to think about after a disappointing campaign last year saw them lose two and only narrowly beat Scotland and Italy.
France v Ireland Tips
Tip 1: Ireland to win with a handicap advantage of +10 @ 10/11 with PaddyPower.com
Tip 2: France to win by 1-12 points @ 6/4 with PaddyPower.com
Tip 3: Keith Earls to score the first try each-way @ 18/1 with PaddyPower.com
10/11 France -10 points
10/11 Ireland +10 points
First Tryscorer Odds
8/1 Vincent Clerc
8/1 Julien Malzieu
11/1 Tommy Bowe
11/1 Wesley Fofana
14/1 Andrew Trimble
14/1 Aurelien Rougerie
18/1 No Tryscorer
18/1 Francois Trinh-Duc
18/1 Imanol Harinordoquy
18/1 Louis Picamoles
18/1 Rob Kearney
Winning Margin Odds
9/2 France 1-5 points
11/1 France 6-10 points
11/2 France 11-15 points
7/1 France 16-20 points
17/2 France 21-25 points
13/2 Ireland 1-5 points
11/1 Ireland 6-10 points
20/1 Ireland 11-15 points
40/1 Ireland 16-20 points
70/1 Ireland 21-25 points
Odd provided by PaddyPower.com, who provide a variety of betting markets, including live in-running betting, for all Six Nations matches.
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