Tip England - Italy
England made a disappointing start to their Six Nations campagin with a home loss to Scotland. They should have few problems getting a win this weekend as the host bottom-of-the-table Italy. England could only score six points in their opening game but will be expected to score many more than that against the Italians. The visitors conceded 50 points in their opening game as they lost at home to France. England have made changes for this match with Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, George Ford and Courtney Lawes all making returns. Oliie Lawrence, who only touched the ball once against Scotland is on the bench this weekend. If the game doesn't go well, then there are si forwards on the bench. Beating Italy is the main job of course, scoring a lot of points is just as important though with points difference and a bonus point to consider. A far better performance than the one seen against Scotland is also important if England still want to win the Six Nations for a second successive year. All those errors have to be cut out or the remaining three games will be difficult for them. They lost their first game last year, so all is not lost. They have won all 15 of their home games against Italy and with a points difference of +477. The last home Six Nations game against the Italians saw England win 57-14.
Italy began another likely miserable campaign with that 50-10 home loss to France. Again there is already questions being asked about why they are in the Six Nations. Unless improvement is shown, another nation should be given the opportunity. There is some hope for Italy with success at the under-20 level. It's going to take time for those players to feature in the Six Nations and it's unknown just how much they might improve the senior squad. Italy have now lost 28 consecutive matches in the Six Nations and it will surely be 29 after this weekend. They will be missing centre Marco Zanon for this match with minor doubts over Maxime Mbanda, Johan Meyer, Cherif Traore and Mattia Bellini. Their squad includes Pierre Bruno and Andrea Lovotti, who both play for Zebre. You can back England to win this on a -36.5 handicap.
Key points England - Italy
England have never lost to Italy and won 15 out of 15 against them at home.
Italy have gone 28 Six Nations games without a win.
Italy lost their opening game to France 50-10 and have injury doubts for this game.
Conclusion England - Italy
England cannot afford to play as badly as they did against Scotland. Thankfully this week they are up against Italy and not against a side such as France. The French demolished Italy last weekend as the Italians struggle to justify their place in the Six Nations. They have injury doubts for this game and another tough afternoon looks inevitable. Go for England on a -36.5 handicap.
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England Italy Prediction published on February 11, 2021