Ireland vs Italy preview: What time does it start, what channel is it on and where can I watch it?

A look ahead to the Pool D fixture at The Olympic Stadium

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Ireland start their charge for top spot in Pool D, while Italy look to keep their slim hopes of qualification alive.

It’s a big game for…

Sergio Parisse: The long term Italy skipper returns to the squad for the first time in the World Cup, and he will be a great boost for the Italians. A quick mention to Keith Earls, who will become the top Irish World Cup try scorer if he scores this weekend.

Teams...

Ireland: Simon Zebo; Tommy Bowe, Keith Earl, Robbie Henshaw, Dave Kearney; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Sean O’Brien, Peter O’Mahony; Paul O’Connell, Ian Henderson; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Jack McGrath.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Nathan White, Devin Toner, Chris Henry, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Luke Fitzgerald.

Italy: Luke McLean; Leonardo Sarto, Michele Campagnaro, Gonzalo Garcia, Giovanbattista Venditti; Tommaso Allan, Edoardo Gori; Sergio Parisse, Simone Favaro, Francesco Minto; Joshua Furno, Quintin Geldenhuys; Lorenzo Cittadini, Andrea Manici, Matias Aguero.

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Michele Rizzo, Dario Chistolini, Alessandro Zanni, Mauro Bergamasco, Guglielmo Palazanni, Carlo Canna, Tomasso Benvenutti.

Weird stat…

3: The number of tests Italy have won in England out of 19 attempts, but by coincidence, all three matches have been in Yorkshire. The matches were in 1991, 1998 and 2015 against USA, The Netherlands and Canada respectively.

Remember when…

Italy broke the Irish win streak? In 2013, the Italians faced the Irish in Rome. Many expected the Irishmen to extend their run which stretched from 1999. They managed to suppress a strong Irish side and came out with a fabulous victory.

Player to watch…

Jonny Sexton: When Ireland feel they need to rest their star man for the big games, you know they are planning on letting him run rampant on the field. The Lion star will look to utilise his back three players of Zebo, Bowe and Kearney with his crossfield kicks and pin the Italians in their half.

Past three-meetings…

Italy 3 Ireland 26 (Murray, O’Donnell) Six Nations 2015

Ireland 46 (Trimble, Healy, Sexton, Cronin, McFadden, McGrath) Italy 7 (Sarto) Six Nations 2014

Italy 22 (Venditti) Ireland 15 Six Nations 2013

Form guide…

Ireland: WWLLWW

Italy: LLLLLW

Vital information…

Kick-off: 16.45 on Sunday, 4 October.

TV: Live on ITV, highlights on ITV

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