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'Whoever wins this one will be eyeing up the Championship for sure'

By Josh Raisey
Antoine Dupont/ PA

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It could be the deciding match of the Guinness Six Nations this Saturday as France host Ireland in a mouthwatering round two match-up between the Northern Hemisphere’s two high fliers.

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Both teams entered the Championship as favourites and both gained maximum points in round one, meaning the winner of this match is not only in a great position to win the Six Nations, but will be in pole position to secure the Grand Slam.

When, where and how to watch the match
The match will kick-off at 16:45 (UK) on Saturday February 12th at the Stade de France and will be broadcast live on ITV in the UK, Virgin Media in Ireland, Stan Sport in Australia and SuperSport in South Africa.

Head-to-head
Since 1909, France and Ireland have faced each other 100 times with Les Bleus registering 58 wins to Ireland’s 35, with seven draws. However, Ireland lead France over their last ten matches, with six wins and one draw. Just to muddy the waters further, France are on a two match winning streak against Andy Farrell’s side.

Match odds from bet365
bet365 have the handicap on France at -3, with 10/11 odds that they win both halves. There are also 6/4 odds that Ireland come out victorious.

Six Nations Early Payout Offer with bet365*

Single bets paid out as winners, if the team you back goes 15 points ahead – for multiple bets the selection will be marked as a winner.
Only available to new and eligible customers. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply. 18+ BeGambleAware.org

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Prediction
Former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan expects this match to be the Championship decider, saying that whichever side is not firing on full cylinders is likely to lose.

“This is probably the crunch game of the tournament. I think these are the best two teams,” said O’Sullivan to BBC Radio Ulster’s Sportsound Extra Time.

“Whoever wins this one will be eyeing up the championship for sure.

“If you look at the level of rugby Ireland and France are playing at the moment I think they are the pick of the crop.

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“France know if they are below par against Ireland, Ireland will beat them and Ireland know if they are below par France will beat them.

“If France had beaten Italy comfortably it might have been good for us as they might have been a little bit too comfortable in their skin but they know they didn’t fire on all cylinders so they’re going to be working very hard this week to make sure they do against Ireland.

“I’m confident Ireland will go there and make it a tight game – one moment in the game might make the difference like it did with Johnny Sexton’s late drop goal in 2018.”

*Odds accurate as of 08/02/22.

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