England and Argentina meet in the opening round of the Rugby world Cup on Saturday at The Stade Velodrome in Marseille and if the betting is anything to go by it is going to be a very tight match.
Let’s start with a look at the Outright Betting where New Zealand are currently trading as favourites at 3/1, France are 33/10 together with South Africa and you can get 11/2 Ireland, England are 16/1 and Argentina 20/1 and the odds between these two have certainly narrowed over the past weeks.
England have had a terrible build-up to the Rugby World Cup both on and off the field. Their red card woes have been well documented and while it would be dangerous to read too much into warm-up games it is concerning that they could only win 1 of 4 matches. Their losses included going down by 11 points to Wales on the road, 19 to Ireland in Dublin and by 8 points to Fiji at home. The only victory been a 19-17 win over Wales at Twickenham.
England were beaten finalists in 2019 and their best ever World Cup result came in 2003 when they won the Tournament.
15 Freddie Steward, 14 Jonny May, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Manu Tuilagi, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 George Ford, 9 Alex Mitchell, 8 Ben Earl, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes (captain), 5 Ollie Chessum, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Jamie George, 1 Ellis Genge.
Replacements: 16 Theo Dan, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Will Stuart, 19 George Martin, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Danny Care, 22 Marcus Smith, 23 Ollie Lawrence
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Argentina’s last warm-up was a 62-3 thumping of Spain and three weeks before that they had gone down 13-24 at home to South Africa. In the Rugby Championship they won 1 of their 3 games, but narrowly lost to the Boks by 1 point away from home and they got a famous 34-31 victory in Australia. Argentina’s odds to win the group and also beat England have tumbled mainly as a result of England’s poor form.
Argentina have twice made the semi-finals of Rugby World Cup finishing 3rd in 2007 and 4th in 2015.
15 Juan Cruz Mallia, 14 Emiliano Boffelli, 13 Lucio Cinti, 12 Santiago Chocobares, 1 Mateo Carreras, 10 Santiago Carreras, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 7 Marcos Kremer, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Tomas Lavanini, 4 Matias Alemanno, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Julian Montoya (captain), 1 Thomas Gallo
Replacements: 16 Agustín Creevy, 17 Joel Sclavi, 18 Eduardo Bello, 19 Guido Petti Pagadizabal, 20 Pedro Rubiolo, 21 Rodrigo Bruni, 22 Lautaro Bazan Velez, 23 Matías Moroni
These sides last met in Twickenham in November of last year when Argentina scored a famous 30-29 win and that broke a 9 match winning streak for the English.
BETTING – Click here to bet
Handicap: England +0.5
The betting suggests there will be very little between the sides in terms of the scoreboard and we agree. Looking at the Tribet market you can back Argentina to win by 7 or more points at 16/10 and England to win by 7 or more points is priced at 2/1. Any other result is trading at 16/10 and that could well be the way to go.
Suggested Bet: Tribet Any Other Result at 16/10 (essentially if either side wins by 6 points or less or the match ends in a draw we will collect)
Note: All prices correct at the time of writing but are subject to change