Kick-off: 1500, 26/02/2023
Stadium: Stade de France
There are question marks over how France will respond to losing to Ireland in the Six Nations, so Scotland could be worth support in Paris.
Gregor Townsend’s men still have everything to play for following two victories and the mood in their camp is very much a positive one.
We reckon 17/20 for the visitors with 8.5 points start is a percentage pick for our first France vs Scotland prediction.
Les Bleus on the back foot
France began the defence of their title with a shaky 29-24 win in Italy, when they were hanging on in the closing stages.
That was followed by a 32-19 Dublin defeat in round two, with Les Bleus playing their part in a pulsating first half but then faltering after the interval.
Head coach Fabien Galthie said: “It is almost two years since we have lost, it is hard to take.
“The series of wins are there, now it is necessary to learn how to take a defeat.
“Defeat is not really a friend, but we will have to spend the day with her.
“We came to play and win the match. Like every match, we worked hard for it but our adversary beat us. We really needed to keep control territorially.”
With Ireland now red-hot favourites to finish top of the table, France may just turn some of their thoughts towards preparing for the World Cup, which they host this autumn.
Looking at the 5/2 for a surprise away success is tempting.
Scots ready for ‘Grand Final’
Scotland built on a 29-23 triumph over England at Twickenham with a convincing 35-7 victory versus Wales in Edinburgh.
Wales had won on six of their previous seven visits to Murrayfield and only trailed 13-7 at the break.
However, Kyle Steyn’s try double, both set up by the mercurial Finn Russell, laid the platform for a dominant second-half display.
That was a biggest-ever victory over Wales and the first time since 1996 that Scotland had kicked off a Six Nations campaign with two wins.
Success at Stade de France would leave them in prime position to go for a first Grand Slam since the 1990 Five Nations, with back-to-back home games against Ireland and Italy to come.
“We haven’t started like this before, so there is an extra buzz around that and everyone’s a little happier around camp,” said Glasgow centre Sione Tuipulotu.
“But there’s also an intensity about the group now because we know what an opportunity we have.
“We take it game by game but if we go to Paris and win, we set ourselves up for another big week.
“Right now, this is our Grand Final and that’s what we’ve got to treat it like. If we win this game, we put ourselves in a good position.”
Don’t forget that Scotland won 27-23 on their last trip to Paris in this tournament two years ago, albeit behind closed doors at that point.
Ireland 32-19 FRANCE
SCOTLAND 35-7 Wales
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