Fleet-footed May has the pace and trickery to lead charge
Italy handed huge start for Twickenham test
ITV, 3pm Sunday
Italy's disastrous start to the Six Nations has revived the debate over whether they still deserve their place in the tournament, and anyone wondering what progress the Azzurri have made in the 17 years since their debut need only look at the size of the handicap for this clash at Twickenham.
England are 1-100 shots to maintain their 100 per cent record in this fixture and bookmakers envisage a winning margin in the 40s, a line they last covered in 2011 with a 59-13 victory.
The handicap that day was 21 points, about half the figure they give up today, and the scale of the task set harks back to the first few years of Italy's participation in the Six Nations, which must be a worry for a team looking to build their standing in the world game.
On Italy's first visit to Twickenham in 2001 the bookmakers' line was set at 55 points, two years later it was 48, and since then it has generally been in the 20s. In 2015, the last time the teams met in England, the hosts just covered a 28-point handicap with a 47-17 victory.
It's easy to see why bookmakers have gone so high after the Azzurri were hammered 63-10 by Ireland in a nine-try rout a fortnight ago. Italy have now shipped 297 points in their last six Six Nations matches and it's hard to see them defying that trend against a dominant England side who have been instructed by their coach to "wipe the floor" with them.
England haven't hit their stride yet, having claimed two hard-fought wins, both thanks to late tries, but that can be no comfort to the visitors as it means they'll be on the receiving end of a performance built on pent-up frustration.
It's hard to make any kind of case that England won't win with ease but it's also hard to summon much enthusiasm for a handicap bet at odds-on. Given England are likely to build a big score a delve into the tryscorer market looks far more appetising.
Italy showed in their opening defeats just how vulnerable their defence can be to pace. Their defence are slow to scramble and holes can soon open up so any opposition back with pace and trickery to thread their way through to the line can make hay.
Step forward recalled England winger Jonny May who has so often delivered on the big stage. He is yet to score this year but was on the mark against South Africa and Argentina in November and he should relish today's opportunity after being dropped to the bench against Wales in round two.
He is long odds-on to get on the scoresheet but the 7-4 that he bags two tries or more is attractive.
Another given his chance today is scrum-half Danny Care, who has mostly played second fiddle to Ben Youngs under Jones. He injects a lot of urgency into the side and loves to make darting breaks, while he is also often handily placed at the back of the ruck close to the line.
Others to consider are England's replacement hooker Jamie George, who may get only 20 minutes but looks the most likely forward to get in on the action, while for Italy Exeter centre Michele Campagnaro has been given his first start and is an enticing 15-2, although it's just 11-8 that the visitors fail to cross the line.
J May to score two tries or more
1pt 7-4 Betfair, Paddy Power
D Care to score a try
1pt 13-10 bet365