A place in the Rugby World Cup semi-finals is at stake on Sunday when England and Fiji clash at the Stade de Marseille, and the Red Rose have revenge on their mind.

It is just shy of two months since Fiji recorded their first ever win over England, beating the 2003 world champions 30-22 at Twickenham in their final warm-up game for the tournament in France.

That was England’s fifth defeat in six matches at the time and optimism was low heading into the World Cup. But Steve Borthwick’s side have managed to turn things around with victories in all four of their Pool D assignments.

Despite losing twice in their group, Fiji managed to finish second behind Wales to secure their place in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2007.

England vs Fiji Betting Tips

  • England win by 6-10 points inclusive @ 4/1
  • Player to be shown red card @ 5/1

Team news

Head coach Steve Borthwick has opted to move Owen Farrell from centre to fly-half, meaning George Ford drops to the bench despite enjoying an impressive World Cup so far. Elliot Daly returns on the wing, with Joe Marchant moving into the centres alongside Manu Tuilagi.

In the second and final personnel change from the Samoa victory, Marcus Smith replaces Freddie Steward at full-back.

As for Fiji, Tevita Ikanivere replaces Sam Matavesi at hooker and Albert Tuisue and Lekima Tagitagivalu are preferred to Temo Mayanavanua and Meli Derenalagi in the pack.

In the backs, talisman Semi Radradra is back from injury to start on the left wing and Ilaisa Droasese is in for Sireli Maqala at full-back.

England win by 6-10 points inclusive @ 4/1

England have reportedly watched the defeat to Fiji in August ahead of this quarter-final meeting to pump themselves up and it would be a surprise if lightning were to strike twice in Marseille.

Although there are still questions over the Red Rose’s flair and creativity, they still managed to win all four group games and the hard-fought 18-17 victory over Samoa last time out will have them battle-hardened

The inclusion of Marcus Smith at full-back also brings more pace and guile to the side, so that is pleasing to see, while there have been no concerns over the usually consistent forwards.

England are in confident mood and they come up against a Fijian side that appears to be getting worse as the tournament goes on, with the defeat to Portugal last time out particularly glaring.

The Flying Fijians need a huge performance if they are going to reach a first World Cup semi-final and while they may fall short in their bid, it should still be a close encounter.

Fiji lost by six points to Wales, beat Australia by seven, edged out Georgia by five points and lost by a point to Portugal. All of these encounters were tight and it’s unlikely either side will run away with this on Sunday.

Player to be shown red card @ 5/1

There have already been 47 yellow cards and seven reds shown ahead of the opening quarter-final on Saturday, with several teams falling foul of the referee and the stricter rules on tackling.

England, of course, picked up a red just a couple of minutes into their first match of the World Cup when Tom Curry’s yellow was upgraded to a red by the ‘bunker’ system.

Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola both missed the opening win over Argentina due to suspension, which also saw the pair unavailable for the earlier defeat to Fiji, so discipline has been an issue.

Fiji are no angels themselves, having been shown four yellows in the tournament, and with the pressure of a semi-final spot on the line, we could see a red dished out.

Match Odds

England are strong 1/3 favourites going into the game, with Fiji on offer at 11/4 and the tie 22/1, while the handicap has been set at -8.5 for Borthwick’s men.

The returning Smith and Daly are both priced at 2/1 in the Anytime Tryscorer market, although the market is headed by Jonny May, who scored the first try in the defeat at Twickenham, at 7/4.

Vinaya Habosi also scored at Twickenham in August and he heads the betting for Fiji to cross the whitewash, priced at 9/4, alongside fellow winger Semi Radradra. 

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