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A comfortable hiding of Italy saw the Irish overcome the pre-game handicap points line by some 16-points in their impressive 48-10 victory a fortnight ago.
That result sees them currently sitting in mid-table following bonus points defeats to both Wales (21-16) and France (15-13) in the opening rounds, although it should be noted the former defeat did come off the back of a 14th-minute red card to Peter O’Mahony.
Scotland have won an impressive seven of their last 10 matches dating back to mid-February last year and although they remain towards the bottom of the current Six Nations table, their most recent fixture with Les Bleus was delayed due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the French squad.
They showed their quality when beating England in the opening round, while their solitary defeat so far this tournament came when receiving a red card against the Welsh, seeing their nine-point advantage at the break diminish to a 25-24 loss.
The Irish have won seven of the last eight meetings between these two sides since August 2015. However, they’ve split the last four in this tournament at Murrayfield since 2013, while going back to 2007 at this stadium, a maximum of seven points has separated the teams in five of their seven Six Nations clashes.
Either Team By Less Than 7.5 Points
They’ll be no hiding in this game, which is likely to be a brutal war of attrition. Both sides have named strong outfits and this could very easily go either way for us.
Each of them look to be improving at the minute and we couldn’t confidently get behind either side to take the proceedings, which is reflected in the prices, with the bookies making the visitors only very marginal favourites.
The betting angle looks to be in getting behind a close encounter. The Scots have gone a respectable W9-L8 against the tier one nations when excluding Italy since November 2016 at Murrayfield, as 12 of those 17 encounters have seen fewer than eight points separate the sides, and we just can’t look past this one going right to the wire.
Scotland v Ireland Teams
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg (captain), 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Ali Price, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Scott Cummings, 3 Willem Nel, 2 George Turner, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 David Cherry, 17 Jamie Bhatti, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Nick Haining, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Darcy Graham.
Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (captain), 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Will Connors, 6 Tadhg Beirne, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Ryan Baird, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Jordan Larmour.