Rugby World Cup Pool D: Azzurri to bounce back in Canada clash
Italy have lost to Canada just once on European soil, so are firm odds-on 1/9 favourites with Coral to get the win after losing 34-10 to Six Nations rivals France in their first Rugby World Cup outing.
The Maple Leaf, thumped 50-7 by European leaders Ireland, in their Pool D opener, edged the Azzurri back in 2000, but their only other victory in this fixture was on Canadian soil back in 1983.
Even though they are minnows, Canada did manage to get a consolation try during their drubbing by the dual Six Nations champions through Daniel Tailliferrer Hauman van der Merwe. His name being something of a mouthful notwithstanding, the versatile Maple Leaf player is 5/2 to cross again anytime.
Canada are also boosted by the return of captain Tyler Ardron in one of five alterations to their XV, but they are still 15/2 outsiders to upset the Italians, who make four changes in reaction to their loss.
Prop Martin Castrogiovanni is dropped alongside Matias Aguero and injured duo Andrea Masi and Michele Campagnaro. The Azzurri bring in centres Tommaso Benvenuti (9/4 for a try anytime) and Gonzalo Garcia, tight head Michele Rizzo and Lorenzo Cittadini.
Giovanbattista Venditti is one of Italy’s leading threats, with 30 points racked up in as many caps. He crossed against France, but is odds-on at 4/5 to do so again anytime and better value to grab the first try here at 6/1. Fellow wing Leonardo Sarto is the Azzurri’s other outlet, and an even-money chance to cross against Canada.
While there have historically been some big scores put on the board by Italy in this fixture, a closer contest at Elland Road beckons after both made poor starts, but expected losses to their Rugby World Cup campaigns.
Backing the Azzurri for a margin of victory between one and 10 points is a terrific 3/1 price, and the Maple Leaf look set to be shaken once again.
Coral’s top tip: Take those odds for Italy to win by 1-10 points.