Venue: Twickenham, London, Date: February 12th, 2011,
Coverage: Live on BBC1, Kick Off: 2.30pm
Talk of a Grand Slam may sound premature, but it’s only going to get louder after England romp to victory on Sunday.
Italy may have pushed Ireland all the way in Rome last week but a travelling Italian side is a poor Italian side – their only away win in the Six Nations came at Murrayfield – and Nick Mallet has a job to do if his side will challenge England.
Italy are 10/1 to register their first Six Nations win at Twickenham on Saturday, but with England priced at an incredibly short 1/50, punters are more likely to see a Martin Johnson smile than an Italian victory.
With England so short, the only way punters can find any value is in the handicap betting and England are 10/11 to beat Italy with a -21 point disadvantage.
England’s five Six Nations wins at Twickenham have been by 25, 13, 22, 35 and 57 points suggesting punters may want to take the 6/5 for England to win (-24).
Italy conceded just five penalties in the whole game against Ireland and England will have to rely on breaking through the Italian defence to score.
That means tries and who better to back than the man who got a brace for England against Wales and has 78 tries in 81 appearances for his club – Chris Ashton is 5/1 to score the first try and 2/5 to score any time.
Italy were unable to take advantage of Ireland conceding 13 penalties last week, but it’s a sign of how solid the Italian scrum is that four of those were conceded by the front row.
England face a battle up front and it would be no surprise to see and England player leave the field for 10 mins – it’s 7/4 that England receive one or more yellow cards in the match.
A £25 stake on England winning by 21-30 points would return £80. New customers can sign up here for a free Six Nations bet worth £25.
England: B Foden, C Ashton, M Tindall (c), S Hape, M Cueto, T Flood, B Youngs; A Corbisiero, D Hartley, D Cole, L Deacon, T Palmer, T Wood, J Haskell, N Easter
Replacements: M Banahan, J Wilkinson, D Care, D Wilson, S Thompson, S Shaw, H Fourie
Italy: L McLean, A Masi, G Canale, A Sgarbi, M Bergamasco, L Orquera, F Semenzato; S Perugini, L Ghiraldini, M Castrogiovanni, C Del Fava, Q Geldenhuys, V Bernabo, A Zanni, S Parisse (c)
Replacements: F Ongaro, A Lo Cicero, S Dellape, R Barbieri, P Canavosio, K Burton, G Garcia
Referee: C Joubert