Scotland vs. France: Date, Start Time, Live Stream, TV Schedule and Prediction

Dan Brett@@DanBrett90Contributor IIIMarch 7, 2014

France's Louis Picamoles dropped for trip to Edinburgh.
France's Louis Picamoles dropped for trip to Edinburgh.Stu Forster/Getty Images

After their last-minute victory against Italy, the hosts will be hopeful of causing an upset against title-chasers France in Round 4.

The match at Murrayfield, set to take place on March 8, presents an affair that will see plenty of mauling as France look to keep pressure on their fellow title rivals.

But Scotland could have an important say on who lifts the 2014 Six Nations trophy with a win that could all but end France's ambitions.

Scotland v France: Date, Live Stream, TV Schedule and Prediction
DateTimeLive StreamTV SchedulePrediction
March 85 p.m. GMT, 12 p.m. ETBBC Sport appBBC One20-16
BBC Sport
RBS Six Nations: Latest Table
PositionTeamPlayedWonDrawnLostPDPoints
1Ireland3201424
2England3201214
3Wales320164
4France320114
5Scotland3102-412
6Italy3003-290
RBS6Nations.com

 

Kelly Brown Recalled for Scotland

DUBLIN, IRELAND - FEBRUARY 02:  Kelly Brown of Scotland looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on February 2, 2014 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

After his side's opening-day defeat by Ireland, 31-year-old Kelly Brown was dropped by head coach Scott Johnson.

The Saracens flanker missed the following two matches, as Scotland suffered defeat to England but picked up their first win of the tournament against Italy:

However, a match and pitch presents itself that suits Brown and, according to the Scotland boss, it's about time that was drafted back into his side.

Brown will also regain the captaincy from Greig Laidlaw for the match, having previously lost the armband after being dropped from the national set-up.

Speaking with BBC Sport staff, Johnson spoke of Brown's inclusion in his starting XV:

I think Saturday is a game that will really suit Kelly. Unlike other sides in the competition, France play above the ground a bit and there will be a lot of mauling. I've picked a side that can win the game.

However, Scotland will be without Ryan Wilson in the back row as he battles tonsillitis, meaning a start for David Denton as Johnson shuffles his starting pack:

The back-row change is slightly enforced as Ryan Wilson has not been well at the start of this week with a tonsillitis bug and it was important we were not hampered in our training, so Dents comes straight in.

Geoff did really well when he came on against Italy and it's right that he should start this week.

Scotland's maiden match at Murrayfield resulted in a 20-0 defeat by England, as the side struggled to make home advantage count in the second round.

It is set to be a different affair this time around, though, as the pressure is off for a Scottish side who know that victory could add a serious dent to France's title hopes.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 08:  Scotland coach Scott Johnson looks on during the RBS Six Nations match between Scotland and England at Murrayfield Stadium on February 8, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

For Brown, too, it provides an excellent chance to show just why Johnson was wrong to make him Scotland's scapegoat—and just why he deserves his place, and captaincy, in the national squad.

There's no doubt, too, that he'll be hoping for more moments of magic from Duncan Weir as the side look to make it two wins on the bounce.

 

Could Big Changes be to France's Detriment?

Maxime Machenaud replaces Jean Marc Doussain against Scotland.
Maxime Machenaud replaces Jean Marc Doussain against Scotland.David Rogers/Getty Images

Sitting in fourth place, France sit tied with their title rivals on points scored, knowing that a win in Edinburgh would put them one step toward their fourth Grand Slam title in the Six Nations.

Les Blues' last trip outside of Paris will be lingering in the memories of Philippe Saint-Andre's men, as the side were heavily beaten 27-6 in Wales.

But the France coach has rung the changes ahead of the trip to Murrayfield, with seven alterations, per Daily Mail's Mike Dawes.

Saint-Andre's decision to drop Jean Marc Doussain to the bench in favour of Racing Metro's Maxime Machenaud comes as a surprise, following Doussain's three conversions and six successful penalty kicks in this year's tournament.

However, The Score.ie's Murray Kinsella tweeted that Doussain's scrum-half performances have been sub-standard and believes Machenaud's inclusion is a good move:

Injury has also forced the France coach's hand with Sebastien Vahaamahina replacing Yannick Nyanga, while Alexandre Lapandry comes in for Wenceslas Lauret.

Damien Chouly is also drafted into the side to replace Louis Picamoles, who was axed by Saint-Andre after sarcastically applauding referee Alain Rolland after the No. 8 was sin-binned in Cardiff.

Picamoles sin-binned against Wales.
Picamoles sin-binned against Wales.David Rogers/Getty Images

But could making seven changes be to France's detriment?

Wholesale switches, although partially enforced, could see the side disrupted as they look to build momentum going into the final week.

The side have conceded seven tries so far in the tournament, with an all-new back row of Vahaamahina, Chouly and Lapandry tasked with keeping Scotland at bay.

Chouly's first start for his side in Six Nations action, per ESPN Scrum's StatsGuru, along with his 40 percent win rate while playing, adds cause for concern ahead of the trip to Scotland.

Chouly handed first France start.
Chouly handed first France start.Christophe Ena/Associated Press

The Scots, following their emphatic last-gasp win in Italy, will be in full confidence of picking up their second successive win and will be pinpointing a weak French back line from the start.

Johnson's men know that their chances of winning this year's trophy are out the window, but with potential to make their tournament more respectable and with chances of causing an upset, his side will be well-drilled in France's weakest areas.

Seven changes could see more weaknesses appear, and with that, France's title hopes end.

Prediction: Scotland 20-16 France.