Rory Sutherland of Scotland

Italy vs Scotland: Visitors to shade tight tussle

Kick-off: 1415, 22/02/2020

Stadium: Stadio Olimpico

TV: ITV

Scotland are expected to inflict a 25th straight Six Nations defeat on Italy in Rome but the feeling is that this will at least be a competitive contest.

The Azzurri only went down by a couple of points when these teams met here a couple of years ago and are coming off a spirited effort in France.

We reckon 33/20 for an away win by 1-12 points is the way to go with our initial Italy vs Scotland prediction.

A Look At Italy’s Betting Odds

After being brushed aside 42-0 by Wales in Cardiff, Italy looked on course for another crushing defeat early on when tackling France in Paris.

However, electric Wasps wing Matteo Minozzi, hooker Federico Zani and Mattia Bellini bagged tries for the battling Azzurri, as they made the scoreline respectable at 35-22.

Powerful Gloucester flanker Jake Polledri put in another stellar performance, while captain Luca Bigi maintained they are moving in the right direction under new coach Franco Smith.

“We showed how strong we can be in attack,” he told BBC Sport. “We never gave up and that’s a positive.

“The guys on the pitch showed great face. We have to keep the positives from this game.

“It’s important that we scored at the end and we’ll keep to the positives for the Scotland game.”

Looking at the Italy vs Scotland odds, we’re leaning towards backing the hosts at 4/5 with 8.5 points start on the handicap list.

A Look At Scotland’s Betting Odds

Scotland played with plenty of endeavour when kicking off with a 19-12 loss away to Ireland, when Stuart Hogg fluffed an easy chance to touch down.

Gregor Townsend’s men then had to combat atrocious weather conditions during a 13-6 reversal versus England at Murrayfield, so that result is best forgotten.

Townsend has made three changes to his starting XV for this game, with Edinburgh forwards Stuart McInally and Ben Toolis and Gloucester centre Chris Harris promoted from the bench.

“Italy are always a very tough opponent, especially in Rome, where we know they’ll look to play with a huge amount of energy,” the head coach said.

“It’s a different Italy team to the one we’ve played in the past. In their opening two games of the championship, they have played with real ambition and width.

“They’ve also selected athletic ball players who suit this strategy and are comfortable playing at a high tempo.

“We are well aware of the threats throughout their team and how their attacking game can cause problems for any defence.”

It would be no surprise to see the hosts matching Scotland early on, before possibly being worn down in the second period.

Let’s finish off our Italy vs Scotland betting tips by taking 11/2 for Italy/Scotland in the half-time/full-time market.

Additional stats

Last result:

France 35-22 ITALY

SCOTLAND 6-13 England

Head-to-head: Scotland 33-20 Italy, Italy 27-29 Scotland, Italy 13-34 Scotland, Scotland 29-0 Italy

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