Georgia vs Portugal Prediction and Betting Tips
🏈 Rugby World Cup 2023 Match Preview
⏰ 23 September 2023 - 16:00 GMT +1
⏰ 23 September 2023 - 22:00 AEST
🏟 Stadium - Stadium Municipal (Toulouse)
The Lelos will be out for revenge against the Wolves in a Toulouse rematch of this year's Rugby Europe Championship final, looking to bounce back from a 20-point loss to the Wallabies. This shapes as Georgia's best shot at a first win in a group thrown open by Fiji's upset of Australia last week, which could make securing direct 2027 World Cup qualification tougher.
It's possible all of Georgia, Fiji and Australia will finish with two wins each, so bonus points and for/against versus Portugal could prove pivotal for automatic qualification and even the quarters race. The Lelos were stronger than the 35-15 scoreline suggests against the Wallabies, competitive after halftime with six scrum wins and forcing a 65% Aussie tackling rate.
They've made eight changes in the fortnight since: three up front (Nariashvili, Gigashvili, Saginadze), new halves pair Aprasidze and Abzhandadze, plus changes to the centres (Kveseladze) and wings (Todua). It's a weakened team from the one that thrashed Portugal 38-11 in the Euro final, extending Georgia's run to eight straight Tier 2 wins including World Cup warm-ups over the USA and Romania.
Not much was expected from Portugal in their first World Cup since 2007, especially having lost all four games in 2007 by 43 points on average and qualifying through a technicality. But they also restricted Wales to a 20-point win in game one, competitive at the set piece and breakdown whilst boasting a similar tackling success rate.
They'll have to go without banned winger Pinto, suspended for three games pending tackle school. Portugal made three other changes as they chased their first ever World Cup victory after a draw and narrow loss to Georgia in their two previous meetings, so another gritty effort seems likely.
📋 Players to watch:
- Lelos winger Tabutsadze bagged Portugal's first two tries earlier this year.
- Wolves flanker Martins has scored in his last three caps including Portugal's opener against Wales.
⚡ Match Facts:
- Rematch of the 2023 Rugby Europe Championship final
- Georgia lost to Australia in RWC opener, Portugal went down to Wales
- Lelos made 8 changes including new halfback pair
- Portugal missing banned winger Pinto after tackle suspension
- Tabutsadze scored 2 tries in Georgia's win earlier this year
- Martins has scored in last 3 caps for Portugal
- Georgia conceded under 20 points in 12 of last 13 wins
💡 Match Prediction:
Based on recent form and head-to-head records, Georgia should enter as strong favorites having won the last 8 matches against Portugal. Their World Cup opening loss to Australia was competitive, while Portugal also put up a gritty fight against Wales.
However, Georgia's eight changes may disrupt their continuity somewhat, while Portugal are missing a key man in banned winger Pinto. The Lelos still have a size and power advantage up front and their kicking game could expose Portugal's back three.
But Portugal's scrambling defence kept Wales tryless for 60 minutes last week. If veterans like fly-half Jeronimo Portela can organize the defensive line and slow down Georgia's ruck ball, they can stay in this fight.
Georgia's pack to gradually wore down the Portuguese. The Lelos to win by 10-15 points but Portugal to come away with a losing bonus point and restore some respectability.
Match Winner: Georgia
Margin: Georgia by 13-18 points
First Try Scorer: Tabutsadze
Total Points: Over 45
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