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Having won back-to-back games at Murrayfield against the French in this tournament, as well as a World Cup warm-up last August, Scotland have now won three matches on the bounce against their visitors at this stadium.
Les Bleus have looked the driving force in this years’ Six Nations so far as the staff and players exodus is seeming to pay dividends.
Having started as a 12/1 shot the current 8/15 about them is representative of their dominance, most notably taking down Wales at Principality Stadium a fortnight ago.
Three straight victories for Fabien Galthie’s side means victory here and at home to a less than convincing Ireland side will ensure they lift the Six Nations trophy for the first time in a decade, though it’s a lot easier said than done at Murrayfield.
The Scots pushed Ireland all the way in Dublin and were unlucky not to come away with a result there after Stuart Hogg dropped the ball over the line, while they made England work for their victory here in round two.
The worry for the Scots, however, is their ability to withstand what will surely be an attacking onslaught from the visitors.
Gregor Townsend’s side have, in fact, conceded the fewest amount of points so far this series, though their only three tries have come against Italy and with France scoring more than any other side and averaging nearly 30 points per game, we’d expect the hosts to be under some pressure.
France -6 Handicap
France have averaged just shy of 23 points per game at Murrayfield in this competition this century, never scoring fewer than 16, and still managing 18 and 26 in their two most recent defeats.
England gifted the Scots countless opportunities to capitalise as the weather sent numerous kicks straight into touch, though the dark blues couldn’t make it count, and remain the joint lowest try scorers in the competition with rock bottom Italy.
On that basis, we can definitely get behind the visitors to inflict some woe here, and with six of France’s seven victories on this patch coming by six or more points, the handicap line certainly appeals.
In fact, Les Bleus have won 20 of their 24 clashes with Scotland across all tournaments since 2000 and it looks more of a one-sided affair than the prices currently suggest.
ROUND THREE HIGHLIGHTS
SCOTLAND V FRANCE TEAMS
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg (captain), 14 Sean Maitland, 13 Chris Harris, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Blair Kinghorn, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Ali Price, 8 Nick Haining, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 5 Scott Cummings, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Zander Fagerson, 2 Fraser Brown, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 George Horne, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Kyle Steyn.
France: 15 Anthony Bouthier, 14 Damian Penaud, 13 Virimi Vakatawa, 12 Arthur Vincent, 11 Gael Fickou, 10 Romain Ntamack, 9 Antoine Dupont, 8 Gregory Alldritt, 7 Charles Ollivon (captain), 6 Francois Cros, 5 Paul Willemse, 4 Bernard Le Roux, 3 Mohamed Haouas, 2 Camille Chat, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Camille Chat, 17 Jean-Baptiste Gros, 18 Demba Bamba, 19 Romain Taofifenua, 20 Dylan Cretin, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Matthieu Jalibert, 23 Thomas Ramos.
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