On paper, and going by recent results between the two countries, France go into the game against Italy as strong favourites.
They have arguably the strongest squad in Europe and have won the tournament for three of the last five years.
If you also throw in the fact that Italy have never beaten France in the RBS 6 Nations, it is understandable why most observers can only see one winner at the Stadio Flaminio.
But there are reasons to suggest Italy, the tournament's regular wooden-spoonists, could cause an upset this weekend.
Pierre Berbizier's side are undoubtedly improving, drawing at Wales in last year's competition and also taking Ireland, England and Scotland all the way.
The only team they lost heavily to was France, but even then, they led 12-8 at the break against their Latin rivals before running out of steam in the second half.
Berbizier also has some classy players at his disposal, with more and more members of his squad having made the move to Europe's leading leagues, such as France's Top 14 and the English Premiership.
The likes of Sergio Parisse, Mirco and Mauro Bergamasco and captain Marco Bortolami are all stars at top European clubs and their influence is starting to spread among the Azzurri squad.
Strength in depth is Berbizier's problem, but he will still be confident of getting one over a team he has both played for and coach in the past.
France will be taking something of an experimental team to Rome, including a half-back partnership of Pierre Mignoni and David Skrela that has never been together before.
They also have a number of injury problems, with the likes of captain Fabien Pelous, Damien Traille and Frederic Michalak all sidelined.
Laporte has stated clearly that he is using the Six Nations to finalise his squad for the World Cup later this year, so while he is experimenting, Italy will look to take full advantage.
And we have seen over the years in the European Cup that the French are not good travellers.
They usually have enough in their locker to overcome the Azzurri, but it promises to be a close-run affair in Rome on Saturday.