Tip Wales - Italy
Wales begin the defence of their Six Nations title and should ease to a straightforward victory over Italy. The Welsh side have a new coach this year with Wayne Pivac replacing Warren Gatland. He has big shoes to fill but couldn't have asked for an easier start to this years Six Nations. A home game and up against perennial losers Italy, what more could you ask for? He'll also be thankful that this is the opening fixture because his side will be without captain Jonathan Davies but Rhys Webb and Talupe Fletau are back. Wales completed the Grand Slam last year but are still waiting to play in their first World Cup final after losing in the semi-final to South Africa.
Italy begin another Six Nations Championship wondering if this will be the year they win another match. They aso start with a new coach as Conor O'Shea has quit and been replaced until July by Franco Smith. Italy last won a match in these championships five years ago when beating Scotland. Since then, they have been collectinig wooden spoons as if they were opening a new restaurant. They failed to get out of their pool at the World Cup and there are still calls for another country to replace them in this championship. Wales can star their campaign with a win, back them on a -19 point handicap.
Key points Wales - Italy
Wales have won their last 13 games against Italy.
Italy have finished bottom for the past four years losing every game.
Backing Wales on a -19 handicap against Italy would have been a winner in two of their last three home games against them.
Conclusion Wales - Italy
Wales should have little trouble starting their title defence off with a win. They won all five of their games last season and have won 13 in a row against the Italian side. The visitors just keep on losing and the tip here is to back the Welsh side to win on a -19 points handicap.
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Wales Italy Prediction published on January 31, 2020