Following last weekend’s rocky win over Wales last weekend, can the Scots make it consecutive victories on Saturday?
Murrayfield was the setting last year as Scotland started a Six Nations with back-to-back victories for the first time, beating Wales 35-7 following a remarkable 29-23 win against England at Twickenham. Now after their ultimately rocky 27-26 win over Warren Gatland’s side last Saturday, France are in Edinburgh. Here are our Scotland v France predictions.
Fabien Galthié’s les Bleus come into the match still reeling from a record home 38-17 loss to Ireland, during which they were reduced to 14 men following Paul Willemse’s second yellow card – meaning the lock is unavailable this week.
Read more: Scotland Six Nations squad
France – who are without talisman Antoine Dupont as he tries his hand at sevens – will not be able to call upon a strong Marseille crowd for this clash but may be soothed by memories of the previous year’s 32-21 defeat of Scotland at the Stade de France.
The hosts, on the other hand, head into the game safe in the knowledge they can do the job at Murrayfield – winning three of the last four Six Nations Tests at home against les Bleus. It will be a big challenge for the likes of returning co-captain Rory Darge. But with Finn Russell and Duhan van der Merwe in the starting XV, there’s a chance.
Scotland v France predictions
Oliver Jervis: France by six. Fabien Galthié’s men will likely be riled up by last Friday’s crushing defeat by Ireland in Marseille. The much-discussed absences of Antonie Dupont and Romain Ntamack have left les Bleus in a uniquely challenging situation. Despite the rut they find themselves in after that first-round result, I back them to make a big statement against Gregor Townsend’s side. It’s now or never for these fresh faces to show us what they’ve got.
Scotland, however, are a difficult one to predict following their historic but simultaneously troubling victory in Cardiff last weekend. The undoubted talent of Finn Russell, coupled with the sharp counter-attacking habits of Edinburgh wing Duhan van der Merwe, show they have enough to threaten any side they face.
Past Six Nations battles between these two also show Townsend’s squad are typically a challenging opponent for the visitors. Old results, nevertheless, mean nothing on the day. France are still in a strong position to show that this weekend.
Alan Pearey: Scotland by one. On the new Netflix Six Nations documentary, Fabien Galthié said his team was “contaminated by ambition, by the desire to win”. If their belief hasn’t been shaken by the thrashing by Ireland, the greater weight and power at their disposal should see them maintain the winning run for away teams in this year’s championship.
And yet I think the Scots can upset the odds. So often they’ve threatened something special only to fall at one of the first hurdles. Their almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in Wales – but they didn’t. How many false dawns can there be for Scotland as they pursue a first title since 1999? Murrayfield can roar them to a famous, edge-of-your-seat triumph.
Kick-off time 2.15pm GMT – Saturday 10 February
TV channel BBC One and BBC iPlayer – How to watch the Six Nations wherever you are
Venue Scottish Gas Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Scotland v France head-to-head results
2023 Six Nations: France 32-21 Scotland
2022 Six Nations: Scotland 17-36 France
2021 Six Nations: France 23-27 Scotland
2020 Six Nations: Scotland 28-17 France
2019 Six Nations: France 27-10 Scotland
Scotland v France team news
SCOTLAND Kyle Rowe; Kyle Steyn, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe, Finn Russell (co-capt), Ben White; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Rory Darge (co-capt), Jack Dempsey.
Replacements 16 Ewan Ashman, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Elliot Millar-Mills, 19 Sam Skinner, 20 Andy Christie, 21 George Horne, 22 Ben Healy, 23 Cam Redpath.
FRANCE Thomas Ramos; Damian Penaud, Gaël Fickou, Jonathan Danty, Louis Bielle-Biarrey; Matthieu Jalibert, Maxime Lucu; Cyril Baille, Peato Mauvaka, Uini Atonio, Cameron Woki, Paul Gabrillagues, François Cros, Charles Ollivon, Grégory Alldritt (capt).
Replacements 16 Julien Marchand, 17 Sébastien Taofifénua, 18 Dorian Aldegheri, 19 Posolo Tuilagi, 20 Alexandre Roumat, 21 Paul Boudehent, 22 Nolann le Garrec, 23 Yoram Moefana.
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