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'How can you beat France? You've got to take your chances'

By Josh Raisey
Wales v France/ PA

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France bulldozed their way past Scotland at Murrayfield in round three of the Guinness Six Nations, moving one step closer to a Grand Slam. But they face a tricky trip to Cardiff this weekend, and any fan of the Championship will know that Wales are capable of anything at the Principality Stadium under lights.

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Wayne Pivac’s side also have the opportunity to exact revenge on France and dash their Grand Slam hopes one year after Wales’ had their dreams of a Grand Slam ended at the Stade de France in dramatic fashion in round five of the 2021 Championship.

Wales have also welcomed back Josh Navidi into the squad this week, and will hope the flanker makes the same impact Taulupe Faletau made at Twickenham after a long spell out.

When, where and how to watch the match
The match will kick-off at 20:00 (UK) on Friday March 11th at the Principality Stadium and will be broadcast live on the BBC in the UK and S4C in Wales, RTÉ in Ireland, Stan Sport in Australia and SuperSport in South Africa.

Head-to-head
Since their first meeting in 1908, Wales have won 51 of their encounters with Les Bleus, losing 47 and drawing on three occasions. Across their last ten meetings, the Welsh have won six matches to France’s four, although France are on a three match winning streak against them. That streak of course includes their last meeting in the 2021 Championship, where a Brice Dulin try at the death deprived Wales of a Grand Slam.

Match odds from bet365
bet365 have the handicap on Wales at +9, with 1/4 odds that France win. There are also 7/1 odds the hosts win by a margin of 1-5 points.

Six Nations Early Payout Offer with bet365*

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Prediction
Pundits David Flatman and Tom Shanklin discussed the match on their Flats & Shanks podcast this week and while they both see France as firm favourites, the former Wales centre outlined how Wales can beat them.

“How to deal with the French power?” Shanklin said. “That’s going to be the big one. What can you do? They don’t play any rugby really in their own half anymore. They have the most kick metres achieved by a team, so they kick the ball a lot. But when they do want to open you up, they’ve got it all. They’re sort of playing pragmatic in their own half but when it’s on, they’ve got the players and ability to see it an execute it.

“What is their weakness? How can you beat France? You’ve got to take your chances, because chances will come. There won’t be many, but there could be two or three, and you’ve got to nail them. And then, it’s about game management and applying pressure, because they’re going to get on the front foot a lot.”

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*Odds accurate as of 08/03/22.

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