Wales v England: Rejuvenated visitors to overpower opponents in title showdown
England head to Wales for a potential Six Nations title decider and Simon Mail thinks the visitors look worthy favourites for the clash...
"England have dominated recent clashes defeating Wales in the last five Six Nations matches. Eddie Jones is also unbeaten against them with England after winning all four games."
Wales v England
Live on BBC One
Wales on brink of record-breaking run
Wales equalled their best run of 11 successive Test victories after defeating Italy but Warren Gatland's side face a huge challenge if they are to create history. With victories in their opening two matches, Wales are in contention for the Six Nations but face a potential title decider this weekend against England at the Principality Stadium.
There is no doubt Wales have yet to catch fire in the competition with the team fortunate to come back and win in France on the opening night. Mistakes from France certainly played their part in the outcome and Wales were again unconvincing as they failed to claim a bonus point in their 26-15 victory over Italy. Wales will have to improve significantly on these two displays if they are to topple England.
Gatland has opted to go with Gareth Anscombe at fly-half rather than Dan Biggar. Gareth Davies starts at scrum-half with Tomos Williams ruled out through injury. Dragons lock Cory Hill is preferred to Adam Beard. George North takes his place on the wing again, after missing the win in Italy, while centre Hadleigh Parkes is recalled.
England outstanding in opening wins
England are warm favourites to win the title after Eddie Jones' side's exceptional performances in the opening two rounds. Travelling to Dublin as underdogs, England physically dominated Grand Slam champions Ireland as they won 32-20. This was a huge statement by England and they backed this up against France at Twickenham.
A home victory was always expected but the manner in which England overwhelmed France underlined their growing reputation with the World Cup on the horizon. Jonny May continued his exceptional form with a hat-trick in their 44-8 win. Two bonus-point victories have set them up perfectly for the trip to Wales this weekend.
England only make two changes with both being forced upon Jones. Mako Vunipola will miss the remainder of the tournament with damaged ankle ligaments and prop Ben Moon takes his place in the team with Ellis Genge on the bench. Jack Nowell is also recalled to the side with winger Chris Ashton forced to miss the game with a calf problem.
Visitors have edge in recent meetings
England have dominated recent clashes defeating Wales in the last five Six Nations matches. Jones is also unbeaten against them with England after winning all four games. The last two meetings at the Principality Stadium have seen the visitors win 21-16 so England will be full of belief heading into this weekend.
Despite Wales' winning run, England deserve their status as favourites for the quality of their performances this year. If they reproduce the level shown against Ireland and France it will be very difficult for Wales to hold them off. It should be an intense encounter but a victory by up to 12 points for England stands out. Seven of their last eight wins over Wales have been by less than this margin.
May has been in sensational form and is recognised as one of the best wingers in the world. He has already scored four tries in this year's Six Nations and five in his last three Tests for England. May scored twice against Wales last season and with his confidence at an all-time high the prolific finisher is backed to cross the line again helping England to another victory.
Follow Simon's bets on Twitter @watfordtipster
P/L 2018-19 season
Back England to win by 1-12 points at [2.8]
Back Jonny May to score @ Evens (Sportsbook)