7th October 2011, 10:45am
RWC 2011 England v France Betting: French talisman Imanol Harinordoquy to inspire France to victory against England
It's fair to say that both these sides have failed to set this World Cup alight. In fact all the headlines have been about the off field shenanigans rather than their on the field exploits.England really struggled in group games against Argentina and Scotland but easily desptached of lesser nations Romania and Georgia. France easily defeated Japan and Canada bu then fielded an under strength team against New Zealand and suffered a shock defeat to Tonga in their final pool match.
England have named both Wilkinson and Toby Flood in their team to play France with Wilkinson at outside half. Mark Cueto replaces Delon Armitage on the wing and Nick Easter is favoured in the back row over Dan Haskell. With both Wilkinson and Flood picked for this match it's hard to see England getting rid of their '10 man rugby tag' during this encounter.
France have again opted to play Morgan Parra at outside half and he hasn't exactly shone in that position when played there in the last two games. Trin Duc will again keep the bench warm and there must be some kind of friction between him and Lievermont to not start a game of this importance. Lievermont has publicly criticised Trin Duc previously stating that he expects more from him. Harinordoquy starts this match at number 8 having sat out the last three matches and if there's anyone who can grab a game by the scuff of the neck it's him. Nicolas Mas returns from injury to strenghten the front row and Maxim Medard is preffered to Cedric Heyamns at full back.
This game is a real minefield for punters. How can anyone have any faith in a a struggling England side or a French side who seem to be in disarray. Form counts for nothing in these knockout stages though and both teams are sure to firing at the bit and add in to the mix that there's always bad blood between the nations and it's sure to be a game full of atrittion.
It is said that France always have one World Class performance in them and I believe that this game could well be it. Let's not forget that the bulk of this French side won the Grand Slam in 2010 and they haven't become a bad side overnight.On paper it looks very evenly matched and stick Jonhhy Wilkinson in the French side and you would have to say that man for man they look a far better side.
The bookies have England priced at 4/7 and that is far too short.but France at 15/8 at a neutral venue has far more appeal.
Recommended Bet: France to beat England at 15/8 with Victor Chandler