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'There are opportunities to attack this French team'

By Josh Raisey
France/ PA

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If ‘Le Crunch’ ever needed any more drama and spice added to it, this will be the first time since 2010 that France are heading into the match with a Grand Slam on the line.

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It was a bizarre Guinness Six Nations round four for both France and England; Les Bleus came away with the result they wanted against Wales in Cardiff but perhaps not the performance they wanted, while England did not get the resulted they wanted but put in an inspired performance all things considered.

Regardless of performances, the reality is France are gunning for the Championship while England are out of the picture, but that does not mean Eddie Jones’ side will roll over and die with this possibly being the last time the two sides will meet in Paris before the 2023 World Cup.

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When, where and how to watch the match
The match will kick-off at 20:00 (UK) on Saturday March 19th at the Stade de France and will be broadcast live on ITV in the UK, RTÉ in Ireland, Stan Sport in Australia and SuperSport in South Africa.

Head-to-head
Saturday will be the 109th Test between the two sides, with England coming away with 60 wins so far to France’s 41, with seven draws along the way. England have also come out on top over their last ten meetings, winning seven, and are on a two match winning streak, with France’s last win coming at the Stade de France two years ago.

Match odds from bet365
bet365 have the handicap on France at -8, with 5/14 odds that they win. There are also 12/5 odds that the visitors leave Paris with the win.

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Prediction
Bath and former England fly-half Danny Cipriani joined Ugo Monye and Sam Warburton on the BBC’s Six Nations: Rugby Special on Sunday, and while he did expect France to secure the Grand Slam at home, he did outline what England must work on this week heading to Paris.

“It’s work rate, it’s getting into position as quickly as you can and being a viable option every time,” the 34-year-old said. “At the breakdown if you have one-off runners you’re going to find it very difficult against a very big French side that are going to get a lot of turnovers. But if you’re working as a unit, you’ve got three forwards at the line with the No10 connected at the back, forwards running into spaces on the other channels, there are opportunities to attack this French team but you have to be all in sync and make sure all week you’re completely hammering your attacking shape.”

*Odds accurate as of 14/03/22.

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