Wales have been quietly impressive at the Rugby World Cup, becoming the first team to qualify for the last eight via their win over Australia a fortnight ago.
A bonus point of any kind on Saturday against Georgia will guarantee top spot in Pool C and they will have been eyeing this fixture as a shot at redemption.
Plenty has changed since the Welsh lost 13-12 to the Georgians in Cardiff last November, mainly in response to that defeat, with Warren Gatland returning to replace Wayne Pivac as coach.
While Wales have excelled, Georgia have faltered in France. They were blown away by the Wallabies in their opener, drew with Portugal and failed to take their chances against Fiji.
Already eliminated, they will look to go out with a bang. However, with Gatland having picked a side similar to the one likely to face either Argentina or Japan in the quarters, a repeat of last year’s catastrophe in Cardiff looks unlikely.
Georgia are 17/2 to win at the Stade de la Beaujoire, with Wales 1/18 and a tie 25/1.
This is the duo’s second World Cup meeting, with Wales winning that 2019 encounter 43-14.
Georgian hooker Shalva Mamukashvili scored his team’s first try in that match and is 9/4 anytime, while Wales wing Louis Rees-Zammit leads that market at 4/6, having already touched down against both Fiji and Portugal.
Wales’ Gareth Anscombe starts at fly-half after starring off the bench against Australia, with Dan Biggar set to return in time for the quarter-finals following an arm injury.
Anscombe partners Tomos Williams in the halves. The number nine is one of six survivors from last year’s defeat, with another of those, Dafydd Jenkins, also coming into the side for his second start of the tournament.
With flanker Jac Morgan rested, hooker Dewi Lake captains the side, while back George North makes his 19th World Cup appearance – only former proper Gethin Jenkins (21) has played more at World Cups for Wales.
Georgia have made five changes from the 17-12 defeat to Fiji for Saturday’s game in Nantes, with centre Merab Sharikadze back to captain the team on the occasion of his 99th cap.
Lasha Khmaladze makes his first outing of the competition at full-back, having played three times in 2011 and on four occasions in 2019.
Prop Guram Gogichashvili and hooker Mamukashvili come into the front row, while Nodar Cheishvili starts at lock.
Wales -20.5 @ 11/10
Wales have won three of the pair’s four meetings, but Georgia’s victory last year lingers in the memory. However, the Welsh were in disarray in the final throes of Pivac’s reign and are a far better side with Gatland at the helm.
The Kiwi guided them to a 43-14 success when the pair met at the 2019 World Cup and something similar feels about right.
Georgia were better against Fiji, but Simon Raiwalui’s side were rusty after a fortnight off. Ironically, they may look to channel memories of Fiji’s famous win over Wales in Nantes in 2007.
A repeat of that outcome, or last year’s win in Cardiff, feels unlikely, though, and Wales look capable of carrying a -20.5 handicap.
Liam Williams & George North to score anytime @ 5.25/1
Both Liam Williams and North were tryscorers when the pair met in Japan and could again be contenders.
Williams has been inconsistent over the last four years but has turned it on for the World Cup, playing with real class against Fiji and Australia and the way he glides past defenders suggests he is due a score.
North was a tryscorer against Fiji and it is noticeable that Georgia have been vulnerable in their outside centre channel.
Both Australia’s Jordan Petaia and Fiji’s Waisea Nayacalevu have exploited it and the Ospreys man could be the latest player to benefit.