Republic of Ireland boss Martin O'Neill

Italy vs Ireland: Azzurri appeal in handicap markets

Kick-off: 1415, 27/02/2021

Stadium: Olimpico

TV: ITV

Ireland have shown plenty of courage in Six Nations losses to Wales and France and should now get off the mark when visiting Italy.

However, this does not look a vintage Irish team by any means and we don’t think they are capable of running riot at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.

Punters can get 4/5 for the Azzurri with 22.5 points start and that is big enough to be our first Italy vs Ireland prediction.

A Look At Italy’s Betting Odds

Italy are once again the tournament’s whipping boys and they are on course for a sixth straight wooden spoon after going down 50-10 to France and 41-18 versus England.

There was much to applaud in their performance against the defending champions, though, with the Azzurri scoring their most points in that fixture since 2008.

Despite his young side falling to a 29th successive Six Nations defeat, head coach Franco Smith detected the shoots of a revival at Twickenham.

“It was a step in the right direction,” said the South African. “The spine of our team is still a young group, but it was much better than against France.

“There were some soft moments but we’ve made some good progress over the last two games.

“I’m very happy that we were competitive during the match. We need to be better at managing certain situations. That’s something we can improve.

“We need to improve our technique and tactics, but with our physicality we are getting there.”

More of the same passion here would make 4/5 for the hosts with 11.5 points start in the first half another good option from the Italy vs Ireland odds.

A Look At Ireland’s Betting Odds

Ireland have lost their opening two Six Nations fixtures for the first time, but it is hard to fault their effort.

The men in green pushed Wales close after losing Peter O’Mahony to an early red card in Cardiff, before ultimately going down 21-16.

A 15-13 home defeat to France was also no disgrace, especially with stand-in fly-halves Billy Burns and Ross Byrne having to deputise for Jonny Sexton.

Sexton has recovered from a head injury and has given under-pressure boss Andy Farrell his vote of confidence.

“The coaches have come in, they’ve done a fantastic job,” he declared. “It’s very different to what it was before, but we will be better for this going forward, of that I am convinced.

“If we talk about World Cup cycles – I might not be part of the full cycle – this group will definitely be better for this type of coaching and structures.”

It is obvious that Ireland are going through a transitional period, though, with 35-year-old Sexton one of several players past their prime.

With the fresh faces yet to fully adjust to international rugby, this does not seem a team equipped to dominate a game in all departments, as Ireland have done in the not-too-distant past.

For those wanting a quick outcome on their wager, 33/20 for the Azzurri to score the first points is added to our Italy vs Ireland betting tips.

Additional stats

Last result:

England 41-18 ITALY

IRELAND 13-15 France

Head-to-head: Ireland 50-17 Italy, Ireland 29-10 Italy, Italy 16-26 Ireland, Ireland 54-7 Italy, Ireland 56-19

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