Steve Richardson picks out the best bets from Friday's Six Nations showdown in Cardiff.
France's 2016 Six Nations luck should run out in Cardiff on Friday night, allowing 4-11 Wales to make it five meeting victories in a row since skipper Sam Warburton was sent-off early on in their 2011 World Cup semi-final 9-8 defeat.
Italy captain Sergio Parisse missed an injury-time drop goal to win in Paris in round one after Les Bleus got into a loose, ding-dong 23-21 battle.
Ireland were the superior side for so much of a tighter scrap at the Stade de France a fortnight ago when France won 10-9.
New France head coach Guy Noves continues to tinker with his team and bench - injuries haven't helped on this occasion - and talk of flair and passion being more important than results.
Wales won't mind either sort of contest under the Principality Stadium roof. Red Dragons head coach Warren Gatland, nine campaigns into the job, has said it would be "happy days" if France come out with a "jouer-jouer, let's play what is in front of us" attitude and yet he has reverted to a starting Backrow of Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau that reflects expectations of an extremely physical clash in the forwards and has no presumptions of possessional and territorial dominance. Nor should Gatland and Wales be presumptuous.
Wales's round one 16-16 draw in Dublin was a fair reflection of their current state - obdurate in defence, secure at the set-piece and still a bit off their dynamic best in attack and execution. Two weeks ago, they started slowly and finished sloppily against Scotland and a similar performance to that 27-23 success could be costly.
Maxime Machenaud is back at Scrum-Half to give France a tempo that Scotland are still to achieve despite positive strides under Vern Cotter. Machenaud's arrival, as a replacement for Sebastien Bezy, was as much responsible for the second-half turnaround against Ireland as the impact off the bench of first-choice Props Eddy Ben Arous and Rabah Slimani.
Slimani starts for Les Bleus but Ben Arous is sidelined so Wales will be confident of performing well at the scrums. If they weren't then evergreen Loosehead Gethin Jenkins would be starting. It should be a similar story at the lineout where Wales have a huge edge in experience at Lock and a transferral of Bradley Davies's excellent club form for Wasps can make light of Luke Charteris's injury.
The arrival of Jenkins and lively Flanker Justin Tipuric off the bench, France's failure to score a try on their last two trips to Cardiff, Dan Biggar's composure with the boot (conversions, penalties and drop goals) and the two-try burst after the break against Scotland, make the last remaining 10-11 about the host giving up seven points on the handicap very tempting. Wales ran out 27-6 winners in their 2014 Cardiff clash. However, the better value bet is the 6-4 that Wales enjoy a winning margin of between 1 and 12 points. Back George North in the Anytime Tryscorer market, at 11-4, too.
North's jinking try against Scotland two weeks ago suggests he is close to being back to his confident, powerful best after a succession of serious concussions and his switch to the Left Wing lines him up against Sevens specialist Virimi Vakatawa. Vakatawa will keep North occupied when France have quick ball but Wales and the Cardiff crowd should bring a different level of intensity to that he has experienced so far against Italy and Ireland. North is just the man to punish understandable shortcomings in defensive positional awareness and technique.