Wales are 4/5 favourites to beat France and reach their first ever World Cup Final on Saturday morning, however there are plenty of trends which indicate that they will be denied…
It is difficult to dispute that Wales have been the more impressive of the northern hemisphere’s two survivors, but early form is often rendered worthless in the closing stages, and there are several reasons to judge France as great value at 6/5.
The first is the most obvious, Les Bleus’ huge head-to-head advantage. France have won six of their last seven meetings, and though such statistics are often downplayed, it is trickier to do so when the teams in question collide at least once a year.
It was just seven months ago that the pair last clashed and the perceived outsiders were relatively comfortable 28-9 winners.
There’s also the question of pedigree, and this is the sixth time in seven attempts that France have made it this far in the competition, and they have contested three finals.
By contrast, Wales have been in the semi-finals only once before, in the inaugural tournament way back in 1987 and were seen off with ease 49-6 by New Zealand. Should they triumph, they will be the first new finalists in four editions.
One other factor to consider is that while France are unchanged from the side that cruised past England last weekend, whereas Wales have lost their top points scorer Rhys Priestland to injury.
If you also fancy Les Bleus then be sure to play it safe on the handicap. Four of Wales’ last six defeats have come by seven points or fewer, so France -2.0 is probably as bold as you should be at a tasty 6/4.
Also worth noting is the 15/8 on the half-time/full-time French victory, something that they achieved in their last two games against Wales, and in all three of their World Cup wins to date.