The 2023 Rugby World Cup hosts are back in action under the lights in Lyon on Friday night, as France take on Italy at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais.

France have picked up some knocks along the way, but are well on course to finish top of Pool A after wins against New Zealand, Uruguay and Namibia.

Italy earned comprehensive victories over Namibia and Uruguay, but were brought crashing back down to earth with a 96-17 drubbing at the hands of New Zealand last time out.

Another tough night awaits the Azzurri, with even a second-string French side capable of putting up a big score against the Italians.

France vs Italy Tips

  • France -29.5 Handicap @ 11/10
  • France to win by 31-35 points @ 6/1

Team news

France remain without star scrum-half Antoine Dupont after the Toulouse playmaker suffered a cheekbone fracture in the 96-0 win of Namibia.

Friday’s clash in Lyon will come too soon for the talisman but he should be fit for the quarter-final against South Africa, Ireland or Scotland.

Head coach Fabien Galthie is likely to tinker with his squad to keep players fresh for what will be a big quarter-final ahead, no matter who Les Bleus face.

As for Italy, head coach Kieran Crowley has already named his squad for Friday’s encounter.

Crowley has opted for a brand new front-row after the defeat to the All Blacks, with Simone Ferrari, Hame Faiva and Pietro Ceccarell all coming into the pack.

Tommaso Allan, Paolo Garbisi and Ange Capuozzo have all been brought into the backline for this huge test against the hosts.

France -29.5 @ 11/10

With the momentum France have been building up in the pool stages, it’s hard not to see Les Bleus winning on Friday night and winning comfortably.

These sides last played in the Six Nations in Rome earlier this year and France only scraped a 29-24 victory in the Eternal City.

However, matches away from the Stadio Olimpico between these two sides have been much more one-sided.

Italy’s last win on French soil against Les Bleus came in Grenoble in 1997 and it’s hard to see the Azzurri causing an upset in this one.

While France are unlikely to rack up as many points as New Zealand in this one, they should fall on the right side of the 29.5 handicap.

France to win by 31-35 points @ 6/1

Looking back at the most recent games between these nations on French soil, Les Bleus have run out comfortable winners.

In the last two meetings in France, the hosts have won by 31 points and 27, so we’ve looked at that region for a possible winning margin in Lyon.

Considering the handicap selection, France to win by 31-35 points might be the way to go at 13/2.

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