Ireland clash with Italy in the Olympic Stadium on Sunday knowing that a win will ensure qualification from Pool D. Are you looking for the best picks on the match? Find here our IRELAND v ITALY betting preview with predictions, expert tips, enhanced odds, starting XVs, exclsuive bonuses and no deposit free bets!
IRELAND v ITALY BETTING PREVIEW
The Irish coasted to a 50–7 victory over Canada and hardly broke a sweat to beat Romania 44–10 and move top of the table with a brace of bonus points. The Irish have scored 13 tries so far although those two wins did come against the teams who were always expected to struggle in this pool.
Robbie Henshaw is finally set to feature but Jared Payne and Rob Kearney are out through injury. Keith Earls moves from left wing to replace Payne at outside centre while Tommy Bowe retains his position on the right flank. In the pack, Jack McGrath is picked at prop with Cian Healy on the bench.
Italy lost 32–10 to France concedeing an astounding 18 penalties against France in their opening fixture and made heavy weather of their match against Canada to win by a narrow 23–18 margin failed to secure a four try bonus point. If the Azzurri give a repeat of their display in the first two rounds they are going to beaten out the gate by Ireland. They need to be fare more disciplined and attack-minded to stand a chance.
Captain Sergio Parisse returns to start for the 1st time in this tournament. However, Leicester Tigers front-rower Martin Castrogiovanni is out due to a thigh injury - replaced by Lorenzo Cittadini - while Simone Favaro replaces the injured Robert Barbieri at open-side flanker.
Ireland hold a solid record against the Italians over the past six encounters. They have been run close and even beaten but both of these games were in Italy. At home or neutral venues Ireland have beaten them on average of 31 points. In their two most recent encounters, Ireland have scored 72 points opposed to just 10 from Italy.
- 2015: Ireland won 26-3 in Rome
- 2014: Ireland won 46-7 in Dublin
- 2013: Italy won 22-15 in Rome
- 2012: Ireland won 42-10 in Dublin
- 2011: Ireland won 36-6 in Dunedin
- 2011: Ireland won 13-11 in Rome
- 2010: Ireland won 29-11 in Dublin
- 2009: Ireland won 38-9 in Rome
IRELAND v ITALY STARTING XVsIreland: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Keith Earls, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Nathan White, 19 Devin Toner, 20 Chris Henry, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Luke Fitzgerald
Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Michele Campagnaro, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Simone Favaro, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Josh Furno, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Michele Rizzo, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Alessandro Zanni, 20 Mauro Bergamasco, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Carlo Canna, 23 Tommaso Benvenuti.
IRELAND v ITALY BEST ODDS
|IRELAND|| 4.00 with||Bet £10, win £40.00|
|THE DRAW||67.00 with||Bet £10, win £670.00|
|ITALY||15.00 with||Bet £10, win £150.00|
IRELAND v ITALY PREDICTIONS
- Winner: Ireland @ 4.00
- Winning Margin: Ireland by 16-20 @ 6.50
- Anytime tryscorer: Simon Zebo @ 2.80
- Total Points: Over 48.5 @ 1.91
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