Rugby World Cup final tips and suggested bets: Tight affair expected between New Zealand and South Africa
New Zealand and South Africa face off with the Webb Ellis Trophy on the line in the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday evening at the Stade de France (2000 BST).
These sides have met twice already this year, with each claiming a win, but this match is unlikely to mirror those contests.
Bookies aren't keen on picking a winner in this one, with little to choose from when it comes to the outright win.
There is a high chance that this match could go by without a try being scored, given how tight the Springboks defence has been and what the South Africans offer in attack.
However, if you feel that a try will be scored, the All Blacks Will Jordan has been the most prolific at getting over the whitewash and will be tough to keep off the scoresheet.
Handre Pollard starts for the Springboks, and it is unclear how long South Africa will keep their premier goal-kicker out there with Manie Libbok an option from the bench.
New Zealand could have multiple scorers even if they don't score a try, as they have three recognised goal-kickers out in their on the park in a highly-skilled backline.
The Springboks have some players who have kicked goals other than their flyhalf, but they will need Pollard to be zeroed in, and if South Africa are to win, he will more than likely top-score.
The All Blacks have struggled to avoid sin-binnings throughout this tournament and could find themselves picking up at least one yellow card in this final.
However, we don't feel that it is likely we will see more than one player sent to the bin.
New Zealand are likely to shade the contest in the end if they play their best game and make a fast start. Backing New Zealand to score first and win by five points or less could be a winner.
Brodie Retallick has won the vote to start in the second-row for New Zealand..
Retallick comes in for Sam Whitelock in the only change from the All Blacks side that overpowered Argentina 44-6 in the semi-final last Friday.
Whitelock replaced Retallick against Argentina but now moves to the bench for Saturday’s final at the Stade de France in Paris.
The 35-year-old Whitelock will become the first man to play in three World Cup finals, should he come off the bench.
Tight-head prop Nepo Laulala replaces Fletcher Newell on the All Blacks bench.
Brothers Scott, Jordie and Beauden Barrett all feature in the starting XV, which openside flanker Sam Cane captains.
Faf de Klerk and Handre Pollard have been named in South Africa’s starting line-up.
The return of half-backs De Klerk and Pollard are Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber’s only two changes from the side which started in last week’s 16-15 semi-final win against England.
Former Sale scrum-half De Klerk, now playing in Japan with Yokohama Canon Eagles, and Leicester fly-half Pollard, are among 10 starting players who began the 2019 final against England.
Mbongeni Mbonambi will start at hooker after being cleared of racially abusing England’s Tom Curry during last week’s semi-final.
Nienaber has included 15 players in his squad who appeared in the Springboks’ record 35-7 win against New Zealand at Twickenham in August.
Second row Franco Mostert and prop Steven Kitshoff are the only two forwards named in the starting line-up who did not start in the 2019 final, with both featuring off the bench.