Wales vs Portugal Prediction and Betting Tips
🏈 Rugby World Cup 2023 Match Preview
⏰ 16 September 2023 - 16:45 GMT +1
⏰ 17 September 2023 - 5:00 AEST
🏟 Stadium - Allianz Riviera (Nice)
After watching the other Pool A teams kick off their World Cup campaigns, Wales is ready to join the party against Portugal. Coming off a tough win over Fiji, coach Warren Gatland has shaken up the squad with 13 changes for this match.
Wales hasn't strung together back-to-back wins in over a year, so they'll be hungry to build momentum before facing Australia. Portugal is seeking their first ever World Cup victory after four straight losses dating back to 2007. They gave Romania a scare back then but were overwhelmed by powerhouses like New Zealand.
Led by veteran fly-half Jerónimo Portela, whose father played Portugal in that 100+ point thrashing versus New Zealand, they are eager to make amends. Wales will be counting on electric winger Louis Rees-Zammit to breach the Portuguese defense. He scored last week and has 10 international tries to his name already.
📋 Players to watch:
Wales Key Players:
- Louis Rees-Zammit (Winger) - Dangerous finisher who scored a try against Fiji. Looking to breach the Portuguese defense out wide.
- Dewi Lake (Hooker) - Will captain Wales in this match. Strong set piece player who will aim to dominate the scrums.
- Taulupe Faletau (Number 8) - Veteran back rower who is a powerful ball carrier. Will provide go-forward ball.
- Gareth Anscombe (Fly-half) - Experienced playmaker running the offense. Needs a strong game to build continuity.
- Adam Beard (Lock) - Tall second rower who is a force at lineouts. Key to disrupting Portugal's throws.
Portugal Key Players:
- Jerónimo Portela (Fly-half) - Veteran leader looking for redemption after his father played in 100+ point loss to New Zealand.
- Jean Sousa (Center) - Physical presence in the midfield who will look to dent the Welsh defense.
- Rodrigo Marta (Winger) - Prolific try scorer who notched 4 tries in one international match this year. Danger man.
- Tomás Appleton (Flanker) - Captain and vital player at breakdowns. Must secure turnovers.
- Samuel Marques (Scrum-half) - Will dictate tempo and distribution. Getting quick ball is crucial.
⚡ Match Facts:
- This is only the second ever meeting between Wales and Portugal. Wales won the previous match in 1994 by over 90 points.
- Wales made 13 changes to their squad after beating Fiji 32-26 in their World Cup opener last week.
- Portugal is seeking their first ever Rugby World Cup victory, having lost all 4 previous matches across 2007 and 2023.
- Wales winger Louis Rees-Zammit scored a try against Fiji and has 10 tries in his international career so far.
- Portugal winger Rodrigo Marta scored 4 tries in one match earlier this year on the international stage.
- Wales hasn't won back-to-back games in over a year. A win here would give them momentum before facing Australia.
- Portugal coach Patrice Lagisquet played 46 times for France during his career. 13 of Portugal's starters play club rugby in France.
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💡 Match Prediction:
Predictions & Betting Tips:
- Wales should comfortably defeat Portugal. Wales has far more talent and experience as a Tier 1 nation.
- Prediction: Wales to win by 20+ points.
- Betting Tip: Take Wales -20 spread.
- The over/under is set at 44.5 points. Take the over, as Wales should score 5+ tries against the weaker Portuguese defense.
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