This weekend’s predictions

Date published: August 28 2015

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As we draw ever closer to the World Cup there are more warm-up games in the northern hemisphere while the Top 14 continues.

Ireland host Wales in Dublin with both teams putting out near full-strength sides, while Scotland and Italy do battle for the second time in a week.

And with the French championship now back underway, and throwing up surprises during the World Cup period, now is the time to check out the best odds from Paddy Power.

Internationals

Ireland v Wales

Our focus was immediately drawn to the handicap of plus 6 points given to Wales and with a side that can pounce from anywhere, a bet on Wales winning by 1-5 points at 5/1 is a good shout. Alternatively, a different punter might prefer to take Wales half-time, Wales full-time at 16/5.

On the try-scoring markets we like the look of Conor Murray for an anytime score (7/2) while Wales' Scott Williams (4/1) also takes our fancy.

Scotland v Italy

Scotland have been given -11 on the handicap and if history is anything to go by – only one of their recent six clashes having been settled by more than seven points – we would advise getting on Italy in this market. They do not have Sergio Parisse, but it should be a tight match.

Peter Horne it seems can do little wrong in 2015 as he helped lead Glasgow to the PRO12 title alongside Finn Russell so we will have a play on him to be first try-scorer. It might also be worth a look at tighthead prop WP Nel's price for an anytime try as he knows his way to the line.

Top 14

Clermont v Grenoble

Clermont looked outstanding last week against La Rochelle, and are big favourites to make it two out of two at home to Grenoble.

With the visitors missing fly-half Jonathan Wisniewski, we don't expect them to pull off an upset, so Clermont to win by 11-20 points looks good value at 9/4.

There should be tries in this one, so David Strettle and Nick Abendanon are both tempting at 6/1 and 15/2 respectively to score first having looked in fine form last week.

Other Top 14 predictions:
Agen v Toulouse – Toulouse by 3
Oyonnax v Bordeaux-Bègles – Oyonnax by 5
Racing 92 v La Rochelle – Racing by 15
Pau v Montpellier – Montpellier by 4
Brive v Stade Français – Stade by 3
Castres v Toulon – Castres by 7

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