Italy v England: patriotic punters to get a return

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England did what was needed of them in their 13-6 victory over Scotland at Murrayfield last week, and will now look to build on a solid start by justifying their 1/4 Six Nations odds for victory away to Italy.

Stuart Lancaster’s reign as interim head coach began with a no-frills display, as England showed the passion and pride at representing the country that was seemingly missing during their farcical World Cup campaign of last year.

Italy, 3/1 to score a triumph in Rome, are the most unfancied of the Six Nations teams, priced at a huge 500/1 for the Grand Slam, and it was no surprise to see them crash to a 30-12 defeat in their opener away to France last week.

The unlikely tie is 25/1, but it looks as though England, possessing many players eager to prove themselves under no-nonsense coach Lancaster, are set to achieve a convincing win at the Stadio Olimpico.

A record Six Nations crowd for the Italians is expected for the clash, but punters should not be deterred from taking a serious interest in the 10/11 on offer for an England victory giving up eight points on the handicap.

More cautious punters can take 8/13 on England winning while giving up a five-point deficit, or 2/5 for an away win with a two-point start being attributed to Italy.

After going into half-team behind last week, England recovered to win the game, and if you believe the same passage of play will occur here, 6/1 is a generous price for Italy to be leading at half-time, but England to be in front at the final whistle.

More confident punters may look at the 1/2 for England to come out on top at the end of each half, and pay some attention for England to win the first half giving up a four-point lead at 1/1.

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