It’s a vitally important round of fixtures in the Six Nations this weekend, with England in a position to hand Wales a giant advantage heading into the final set of games. Opening the action will be current leaders Wales’ trip to Rome on Saturday, where they face tournament minnows Italy. A bonus point will be on Wayne Pivac’s mind to keep his men in the driver’s seat ahead of a huge Paris showdown next week. But next week’s match will take a lot less significance should England find their groove at Twickenham against France later on in the evening and pick up a huge win. Then, on Sunday, Scotland will host Ireland in a match that could make the competition a whole lot more interesting, especially with their game against France still to be rescheduled.
Here’s our Six Nations round 4 betting preview and team news.
Round 4 fixtures and TV schedule
Sat 13 March, Italy v Wales, 2.15pm Live on ITV
Sat 13 March, England v France, Twickenham, 4.45pm Live on ITV
Sun 14 March, Scotland v Ireland, BT Murrayfield, 3pm Live on BBC
England v France Six Nations Preview, Team News and Betting Tips
After we named England favourites to win the whole competition back in early February, they’ve had a disaster start to the campaign with just one win, against Italy, coming between losses to Scotland and Wales. Back when the fixtures were announced, this would have been circled by many as an almost certain decider, but the shine has certainly been taken off. It’s expected to be an incredibly close clash, with an almost straight down the middle win probability. We’re giving Eddie Jones’ men the slight edge with 5/7 odds on a home win. We said two weeks ago that underdogs Wales getting the win was a no-brainer at the prices NetBet are offering, and with France almost evens at 21/20 we echo those sentiments for Saturday. The real question is how the visitors will bounce back from their Covid outbreak that forced them to reschedule their match with Scotland in the last round.
When the sides last met in December, England scraped a 22-19 victory to take home the Autumn Nations Cup. Should they take a victory by such a tight margin again, we could pay out at 4/1 (to win by 1-5) or 29/20 (to win by 1-12). Meanwhile, if France can turn that margin around it’d be 9/2 (to win by 1-5) or 37/20 (to win by 1-12). It’s an interesting betting line, and France winning by 1-12 seems the most likely outcome given form so far in the tournament.
England XV: Malins; Watson, Slade, Farrell, May; Ford, Youngs; M Vunipola, Cowan-Dickie, Sinckler, Itoje, Ewels, Wilson, Curry, B Vunipola.
Replacements: George, Genge, Stuart, Hill, Earl, Robson, Lawrence, Daly.
France: Dulin; Thomas, Vakatawa, Fickou, Penaud; Jalibert, Dupont; Baille, Marchand, Haouas; Taofifenua, Willemse; Cretin, Ollivon (capt), Alldritt.
Replacements: Chat, Gros, Aldegheri, Cazeaux, Woki, Jelonch, Serin, Ntamack.
Italy v Wales Six Nations Preview, Team News and Betting Tips
Wales’ unlikely success has been the story of this year’s Six Nations Championship, and they’ll be expected to pick up a bonus point victory in Rome on Saturday afternoon. Wayne Pivac’s side took down England a fortnight ago after bringing Scotland back down to Earth following their own opening day heroics. Since they’d beaten Ireland in round one, they’ve already won the Triple Crown and now have their sights set on a hugely unexpected Grand Slam. Having ridden their luck throughout the opening few weeks, they’ll face the sternest test of their mettle next week, after picking up an almost inevitable win against Italy. For the home side, they’ll have to explode out of the gates like they did against England to have any chance. It’s been 14 years since their only win against the Welsh in the Six Nations, and that cold streak should continue this weekend.
We’ve placed Wales as unbackable 1,000/1 favourites, with Italy 12/1 to get the win and a draw priced at a massive 39/1. It tends to be difficult to find value in the Italian’s games, aside from just risking a bet on the incredibly unlikely wins. It’s 2/1 for the hosts to score first, which was a bet that did pay out when they were handily beaten by England. It’s the same for them to score last, and that is always worth a look as well.
Italy XV: TBA
Wales XV: Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Leon Brown, Jake Ball, Aaron Wainwright, Lloyd Williams, Callum Sheedy, Uilisi Halaholo
Scotland v Ireland Six Nations Preview, Team News and Betting Tips
Scotland were rocked by the news that their game against France would be postponed by a Covid outbreak in the opposition camp, so they won’t have played together in a month when they host Ireland. Their last outing was a disappointing loss to Wales after an opening day win over England had set Scottish fans expectations soaring. They’ll be looking to pick up a relatively rare win over an Ireland side who desperately need a win to get back on track.
Our win percentage calculator has Scotland as 43% likely to win, with a draw 4% and Ireland 53%. Gregor Townsend’s men are minor underdogs at 6/5, while Ireland are 20/33 favourites and a draw is priced at 17/1. If you’re a risk taker, that draw could definitely be a worthwhile bet.
Scotland XV: Hogg (capt); Maitland, Harris, Johnson, Van der Merwe; Russell, Price; Sutherland, Turner, Nel; Cummings, J Gray; Ritchie, Watson, M Fagerson.
Replacements: Cherry, Bhatti, Berghan, Gilchrist, Haining, Steele, H Jones, Graham.
Ireland XV: Keenan; Earls, Ringrose, Henshaw, Lowe; Sexton, Gibson-Park; Healy, Herring, Furlong; Henderson, Ryan (capt); Beirne, Connors, Stander.
Replacements: Kelleher, Kilcoyne, Porter, Baird, Conan, Murray, Burns, Larmour.
*Odds are subject to change.